Best 4 Cup Coffee Makers in 2020 – Reviews

For a lot of people, the day doesn’t start until they have tasted their first sip of coffee. With so many options for brewing, it can be hard to decide which is best for you. A lot of people like 4 cup coffee makers because they are easy to use, keep your second cup warm for a long time and make great coffee.

Still, it can be hard to know what makes a good product and those that are best to avoid. This is why we have created our list of the best 4 cup coffee makers. Each one has a lot to offer, some are near-silent when in use and others just make a great cup of Joe! Whatever your preference, there are some impressive products.

Quick Summary of 4 Cup Coffee Makers

 Editor’s Choice 
BLACK+DECKER 5-Cup Coffeemaker
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 Best Stainless Steel 
Cuisinart DCC-450BK 4-Cup Coffeemaker with Stainless-Steel Carafe
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 Easiest To Use 
Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Switch Coffee Maker
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 Best Value 
Elite Cuisine EHC-5055 Automatic Brew & Drip Coffee Maker
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 Best Large Capacity 
Ninja 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker with Classic and Rich Brews
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 Best Programmable 
Mr. Coffee JWX9-RB 5-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker
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BLACK+DECKER 5-Cup Coffeemaker

 Editor’s Choice 

Although many people associate the brand with tools their coffee-making range is impressive. What we like with this product is the capacity to make 5-cups and with an easy-grip handle it is comfortable to pour even though it holds more coffee than other brands.

One problem with a lot of coffeemakers is that they can be difficult to clean but this comes with a removable basket that solves this issue. The carafe plate keeps the carafe warm for up to an hour so you can go back for more coffee and it will still be drinkable. The water window of the 25 oz carafe means you can see exactly what is left thanks to the measurement markings. With a simple to use one-button operation, making good coffee doesn’t get much easier.

PROS:

  • Makes 5 cups
  • The carafe has a hot plate to keep it warm and a water window
  • Easy to use
  • Removable filter basket
CONS:

Cuisinart DCC-450BK 4-Cup Coffeemaker with Stainless-Steel Carafe

 Best Stainless Steel 

A favorite for many, this impressive 4 cup coffee maker features a dripless pour spout to prevent any mess from the stainless steel carafe. Those who don’t want to wait will appreciate that there is even a pause button so you can stop the device halfway through, pour yourself a cup and let the machine continue once you are drinking.

To make sure it doesn’t waste energy it has a 30-minute automatic switch off that will save you money on your bills as well as an on indicator light to remind you. The unit has a compact design so it fits onto any workspace with ease and the consensus from users is that it is reliable and makes a great coffee – what more can you ask for!

PROS:

  • Stainless steel carafe
  • Pause button so you can pour your first coffee without having to wait
  • 30-minute auto switch off
CONS:

Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Switch Coffee Maker

 Easiest To Use 

With a pause button to make sure you can grab a cup before the whole carafe is full you never have to wait long before your first cup of the day. The carafe has a water window so you can see how much you have left and the water tank allows you to see when you need to fill it back up.

Mr. Coffee has a great reputation in the industry which is what you might expect from such a brand name and this product is more affordable than you might think. One minor complaint is that the brew could be a little hotter but for some people, it will pour at the perfect temperature.

PROS:

  • Water windows on carafe and water tank
  • Removable basket filter
  • Pause button so you can grab a cup before it is finished
CONS:

  • Pours a little colder than we would prefer

Elite Cuisine EHC-5055 Automatic Brew & Drip Coffee Maker

 Best Value 

A lot of people like this sturdy 5 cup coffee maker because it is well priced and well-built considering. Anyone who finds it hard to properly clean their current coffeemaker will appreciate its dishwasher safe carafe. The filter compartment swings out so it is easy to remove and clean – a lifesaver for anyone using theirs day in day out.

Both the water tank and the carafe are visible so you can see exactly how much is in either and never overfill or spill water on your kitchen surface. Elite Cuisine has included a 1-year warranty with this so you can make a fresh cup of coffee with the confidence that comes with knowing your purchase is protected.

PROS:

  • Makes 5 cups
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty
  • Easy to clean
  • Good value
CONS:

  • Doesn’t stay hot for as long as other brands

Ninja 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker with Classic and Rich Brews

 Best Large Capacity 

We’ve thrown in a bit of a curveball here as although this isn’t a 4 cup coffee maker, there is nothing wrong with getting more of a bang for your buck. The device is programmable and you can set it to make your coffee up to 24 hours in advance.

The warming plate is also one of the best going as it keeps your coffee warm for up to 4 hours, substantially longer than a lot of the competition. We mentioned its large capacity and it can make up to 12 cups but it can also brew smaller quantities for a stronger brew. With a gold tone removable filter that means you don’t have to use the disposable kind, it has more than a few benefits that a lot of others don’t offer.

PROS:

  • Keeps coffee warm for up to 4 hours
  • Can make up to 12 cups
  • Programmable coffeemaker
  • Gold tone filter is easy to clean and can be reused
CONS:

  • Not everyone wants 12 cups

Mr. Coffee JWX9-RB 5-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker

 Best Programmable 

Being able to program a coffeemaker means you can wake up with a freshly brewed coffee that is good to go before you are. The aroma can be smelt whilst you come down the stairs thanks to the delayed brew timer. You can also make tailor your coffee based on brew strength so if you like to take yours a little stronger, you can at the push of a button.

The stainless steel carafe looks good and keeps the contents warm and fresh and you can even grab a cup whilst the machine is still filling thanks to the pause function. The filter is easy to lift and clean and the 1-hour automatic shut off helps to assure it turns off even when you forget.

PROS:

  • Brew timer allows you to make coffee for when you wake up
  • Tailored brew strength
  • Pause and pour a cup
CONS:

  • More expensive than standard products

4 Cup Coffee Makers Guide

A quality coffee maker should be able to do more than make a great brew, everyone wants theirs to be convenient as well. This is only possible when you buy one of the best 4 cup coffeemakers as some of the sub-par products can be too basic and a waste of time.

Before you can be sure you won’t be sending the product back within a couple of months you need to do a little research. This is why we have created the following buyer’s guide. It details exactly what a 4 cup coffee maker should do so you don’t waste your time and enjoy a quality cup of coffee every day.

What To Look For In A 4 Cup Coffee Maker

Brew Pause Feature

Let’s face it, you could buy the fastest 4 cup coffee maker but it still won’t be quick enough when you’re craving caffeine. The best products have a brew pause feature that allows you to pick up the carafe and pour yourself a cup halfway through the brewing process. When you put it back on the hot plate, it will pick up where you left it but you’ll be sipping away.

Removable Filter Basket

One of the issues that some people have with a 4 cup coffee maker is in the cleanup. Buy the wrong product and you could spend more time cleaning up than drinking coffee. Look for a coffeemaker that has a removable basket as it makes cleaning the used coffee a lot easier. Gold tone filters mean you don’t have to use the disposable kind which saves money and is more convenient.

Stay Warm Length

Some products feature a low quality hot plate that doesn’t do a lot once the carafe is full. The better products will be able to keep the carafe warmer for longer and even as much as an hour can make a big difference and stop you from having to throw it away. If you are entertaining, some products keep the coffee warm for up to 4 hours.

Programmable Brewing

This might be top of your list of priorities but remember that a programmable 4 cup coffee maker will come with a higher price tag. There is something to be said for the convenience of being able to wake up to a fresh cup of coffee but make sure it fits into your budget first.

Automatic Switch Off

It can happen to us all, you’ve poured yourself a fresh cup of coffee, got ready for work and left your coffeemaker on. A lot of coffeemakers come with an auto switch-off function that stops you from having to worry about whether everything is turned off or not. These most vary between 30 minutes to an hour after using it.

Capacity

When you search for a 4 cup coffee maker you might be surprised to see that there isn’t a lot of difference in price between them and the 5 cup variants. This is good news for those who like to entertain or drink a lot of coffee. If you are buying it for an office space then the greater the capacity the better but for personal use, 4 – 5 cups is usually enough.

Easy To Use

Besides being easy to clean, a 4 cup coffee maker should also be easy to use. this starts with being easy to refill so a removable water tank is good although they can be hard to come by and a one-button operation keeps things simple. Removable baskets are important as well as having the type you can use time and again – some even stop you from needing to use a disposable filter ever again.

Easy To Clean

When you use a coffeemaker that has a removable basket you will find that there is a lot less mess on your kitchen surface, and it is easy to tip the contents into the trash. On top of this, some products come with a carafe that is dishwasher safe. This allows you to keep it pristine, a bonus since it can be an awkward item to clean.

Stainless Steel Carafe Vs Glass

Both of these have their benefits and a lot will depend on what your personal preference is. When it comes to appearance we like the smooth look of a stainless steel carafe and it is also more durable than the glass products.

Then there is the fact that it is easier to clean than its glass counterparts. However, a glass carafe is preferable for a lot of people because it allows you to see how much coffee you have left.

What Is The Best 4 Cup Coffee Maker?

For a lot of people, it will be the one that suits your needs so a programmable coffee maker might be more important. In terms of build quality, value, reliability, and the ability to make a great cup of coffee every time, it is hard to look past the BLACK+DECKER 5-Cup Coffeemaker.

Not only does it give you a little extra with a 5 cup carafe but the hot plate keeps everything warm for up to an hour and it is incredibly easy to use. With one-touch operation and a removable basket they tick all the important boxes which are why it is such a popular product.

Conclusion

Compared to other brewing methods, a 4 cup coffee maker can be an inexpensive and valuable purchase if you are into your coffee. Even if you just want something that makes a good brew without any fuss, they are a great alternative to the likes of espresso machines.

This is why a lot of baristas use them at home and offices have them ready to go. When done right, many people find that a 4 cup coffee maker is the sort of compact, easy to use product that once you start using, you can’t live without.

Best Teapot in 2020 – Reviews

Even if you don’t have guests, there is something about brewing and serving your tea from an eye-catching teapot that makes drinking a freshly brewed cup so satisfying. When done right, they can help to improve the taste of your tea and some can offer a large capacity making it perfect for entertaining.

Your hardest decision should be to decide between a modern teapot and something closer to traditional. However, with a lot of poorly made products out there, it can be difficult to tell which one will last a long time. To help make this tricky decision a lot easier, we have created a list of the best teapots to make the experience more enjoyable.

Quick Summary of Teapot

 Editor’s Choice 
Hario CHJMN-70T Cha Kyusu Maru Tea Pot
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 Best Cast Iron Teapot 
Primula Japanese Tetsubin Cast Iron Teapot with Stainless Steel Infuser
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 Best Teapot Infuser 
Cuisinium Stovetop Safe Teapot with Infuser For Loose Tea
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 Best Ceramic Teapot  
Tealyra – Daze Ceramic Teapot Turquoise – 27-ounce
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 Best Affordable 
Willow & Everett Teapot Kettle with Warmer
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 Best Large Capacity 
RSVP International Large Stoneware 6-Cup Teapot
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Hario CHJMN-70T Cha Kyusu Maru Tea Pot

 Editor’s Choice 

This appealing teapot has a bit of everything going for it from the style to its reasonable price. The infuser is one of the largest you will find, allowing the loose tea to move around inside the water without entering the pourable section. This creates a stronger flavor from the simple teapot.

The stainless steel infuser has fine meshing for making all types of tea and the glass design allows you to see when everything is ready. You can use it to make a regular pot of tea by removing the infuser of this heat resistant teapot has a wide lid to make it easy to refill and clean. It offers the elegance of a think glass design although this might detract from the durability if handled roughly. Otherwise, it should last a long time for many cups of fresh tea.

PROS:

  • Stylish design
  • Wide lid for easy refilling
  • Large, removable infuser
  • Easy to clean
CONS:

  • Mixed advice on whether or not it is dishwasher safe

Primula Japanese Tetsubin Cast Iron Teapot with Stainless Steel Infuser

 Best Cast Iron Teapot 

It’s safe to say that this beautiful teapot will have your gustiest asking questions about where you bought it thanks to the traditional, eye-catching design. The removable infuser allows you to make any loose leaf tea and the fine meshing keeps debris out of the water.

You can also use any teabag for a perfect brew. Because it is made from cast iron you get better heat retention which will keep the tea hotter for longer. Because the inside is coated with enamel it is easy to clean and doesn’t require the same maintenance as other teapots made from the same materials.

PROS:

  • Beautiful Japanese design
  • Can be used to make loose leaf tea or any teabag
  • Cast iron retains heat for longer
CONS:

  • Not as easy to pour as some of the competition

Cuisinium Stovetop Safe Teapot with Infuser For Loose Tea

 Best Teapot Infuser 

We said there would be some modern picks in our best of selection and that is what you get with this glass teapot infuser that is perfect for brewing a fresh batch of loose tea for more than one person. This clear teapot makes it easy for you to tell when the tea is reading to drink and can be refilled with more hot water for a second pot load.

It makes up to 4 cups and because it is made from borosilicate glass it can be placed on the stove to heat the old fashioned way. It comes with a bamboo coaster so you don’t burn any surface and it even includes a neoprene sleeve to make sure the contents stay warm for longer. Perfect for entertaining, but it is also a popular gift for tea lovers.

PROS:

  • Can be warmed on the stove
  • Removable infuser
  • Makes up to 4 cups at a time
  • Comes with bamboo coaster and neoprene sleeve
CONS:

  • Can be difficult to clean properly

Tealyra – Daze Ceramic Teapot Turquoise – 27-ounce

 Best Ceramic Teapot  

With a mix of the old and the new, this eye-catching teapot is available in a variety of colorful designs and is compact but able to make 2-3 cups of tea at a time. With an infuser included, it can make loose tea that is kept secure via the stainless steel lid, helping you to avoid spillages. It opens wide which makes it easy to refill and the hinged lid means you can’t lose it.

The infuser goes almost to the very bottom of the pot so it allows for a lot of coverage and helps the water to brew faster. Praised for its sturdiness it isn’t the biggest teapot going but it is great for sharing a cup with a friend or making a pot for yourself.

PROS:

  • Looks great
  • Quality infuser goes deep into the teapot
  • Sturdy and durable design
CONS:

  • Not to be used on a stove

Willow & Everett Teapot Kettle with Warmer

 Best Affordable 

With a large handle to keep you away from the glass teapot when pouring, this pleasant design is great for entertaining. It has a capacity of around 3-4 cups at a time and with a built-in infuser, you can make pretty much any kind of loose tea you like. When you forget about the pot you don’t need to pour the contents away, simply remove the stainless steel parts and put the glass teapot into the microwave.

The stainless steel lid is rust-resistant but has other uses too as it stops the contents from spilling as you pour. It might look a little plain to some but with a modern style it will please a lot of people and the glass design makes it easy to tailor the tea to your preferred strength.

PROS:

  • Makes 3-4 cups at a time
  • Glass parts can go in the microwave
  • Built-in infuser
CONS:

  • Not as eye-catching as other designs

RSVP International Large Stoneware 6-Cup Teapot

 Best Large Capacity 

The simple design comes in a variety of colors that add a bit of pop to your afternoon tea. With a large 6-cup capacity it is one of the better products on our list for when guests arrive. the one-piece design is a classic and is easy to clean because it is dishwasher safe.

There is no infuser included so you’ll have to stick to the regular brewing methods of using tea bags or buying an infuser separately for loose tea but it is uncomplicated and made from quality stoneware that has large drainage holes in the spout to make it easy to pour. The spout can drip a little when pouring so be mindful before you start or use a cloth underneath.

PROS:

  • Large 6 cup capacity
  • Classic design comes in a variety of colors
  • Good value
CONS:

  • No infuser included

Teapot Guide

The tea industry is a traditional one, but times have changed. This is why you will find a mix of teapots on the market, some will please the traditionalists, whilst those who have a modern home and lifestyle will find that there are plenty of options for their tastes too.

The key to finding a quality teapot is in knowing what makes the best products so good, and avoiding those that are awkward to pour, or lack the durability to last a long time. The next time you’re entertaining, you’ll be glad you read the following guide before you break out the perfect teapot.

What To Look For In A Teapot

Capacity

Those who like to drink tea often and don’t have regular visitors will want something a little smaller. There are plenty of quality teapots on the market that makes 2-3 cups at a time which is ideal for most people. Of course, you can get a large teapot in a variety of styles and the most common capacity tends to make 3-4 cups but you can find some good products that are capable of brewing 6.

Consider your needs and how often you will use it before opting for a certain size.

Easy To Clean

This should be high on your list if you use your teapot frequently and some materials are easier to clean than others. If it has a wide lid then it is easier to clean inside but when you find one that is safe to go in the dishwasher then this adds to the convenience. A removable infuser should be easy enough to clean but it might require a little scrubbing to remove the smaller leaves.

Heating

Some materials are fine to go in the microwave to reheat the contents but be sure to remove any metal parts before you do. There aren’t as many teapots that are safe to go on the stove pot but if you can get your hands on one, it does mean you don’t have to boil the kettle before you can consider brewing tea.

Lid

The more reliable the lid, the warmer the pot will stay but also the safer it will be when pouring. They should match the style of the pot but functionality is more important.

Heat Retention

This is more important when you buy a teapot with a large capacity as they take longer to finish. Cast iron teapots are good for keeping the contents warm for longer but take a look at the specs of a teapot to see what the manufacturer says about how long it will keep your tea hot.

Handle

The handle has as much to do with safety as it does with ease of pouring so you want something comfortable to hold but also keeps your hand away from the hot body of the teapot. Still, it needs to be close to the body so you can balance the pot easily. A handle that is above the teapot needs to be tall and wide so it is still easy to remove the lid.

Common Teapot Materials

There are so many different teapots that it can be hard to tell which material is best. We take a look at some of the most common.

Glass

You’ll find that these have become more and more popular as brewing loose tea has come back into fashion. A lot of the time, a glass teapot will include a removable infuser and when it is brewing, one of the main benefits is being able to check on the strength of the tea.

Sometimes, glass teapots are more susceptible to breaking but if you stick to a reputable brand and use it with care, it should last a long time.

Ceramic

These look the part and often come in eye-catching colors but ceramic teapots deserve more credit than just being attractive to look at. They are some of the most durable products and aren’t overly heavy.

Cast Iron

It’s hard to look past a cast iron teapot because they are so durable, although this is partially down to the added weight. One benefit is that they retain heat well so you can leave your brew for longer between cups.

Should A Teapot Have A Removable Infuser?

This isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker because as long as the lid to the teapot is wide enough, you should be able to use your own infuser but if you can find a product that has a removable one, it adds a layer of convenience.

A lot of the time, an infuser will match the specs of the teapot and will be wider, making it easier to brew a quality brew fast. Still, the benefit of having your own is that even if the teapot breaks, you can keep the infuser and use it again.

How To Get Rid Of A Stain From A Teapot

The more you use your teapot, the more likely it is to show signs of wear and tear. The most common is from staining and is more likely to show on certain materials such as glass.

The easiest way to get rid of these stains is by making a homemade solution of baking soda and white vinegar. This can be scrubbed over the stain to remove it.

Depending on the material, you might be used to putting it through the dishwasher but this can be detrimental over time and isn’t ideal for removing stubborn tea stains.

Conclusion

The world of tea is a big one, and the teapot industry is hard to keep up with. Still, not a lot has changed over the centuries beside the design as they are all made to do one thing – pour tea.

When it comes to capacity, most products come in more than one size so to find the perfect teapot for you, a lot will come down to what catches your eye.

Best Cheese Slicers in 2020 – Reviews

A quality cheese slicer always looks impressive as it makes consistent slices of even delicate cheese that a knife is just not able to replicate. Most people have tried and failed to make perfect slices with a knife but no matter what technique you use, things get a little messy.

To make cheeseboard worthy cuts, only the best cheese slicers will do. Thankfully, we’ve managed to find a list of the greatest products available to save you time and make the cheese at your buffet table look presentable. No other technique will do and we consider everything from the quality of the handle as well as the different types of cheese slicers so there is something for all cheese lovers.

Quick Summary of Cheese Slicers

 Editor’s Choice 
Bellemain Adjustable Thickness Cheese Slicer
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 Best Wire Cheese Slicer 
Prodyne 805B Thick Beechwood Cheese Slicer
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 Best Stainless Steel 
Westmark Germany Multipurpose Stainless Steel Cheese and Food Slicer
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OXO 1071567 Cheese Slicer with Replaceable Wires
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 Best For Hard Cheese 
K BASIX – Stainless Steel 8.2 Inch Cheese Plane/Slicer/Server
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 Best For Thin Slices 
Mieriscle Cheese Slicer for Thin Slices
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Bellemain Adjustable Thickness Cheese Slicer

 Editor’s Choice 

It’s hard to look past any cheese slicer that has an adjustable thickness which is exactly what you get here. Because it has a wide scope it can cut blocks of up to 3.5 inches wide and you can choose to scale at anything between a wafer-thin slice of cheese to 1/4 inch thick.

The sturdy wire makes light work of various cheeses but is ideal for cutting perfect slices for a grilled sandwich – never buy the cheap plastic types again thanks to this neat product. What a lot of people don’t realize is that it is made from a single piece of Zinc alloy, making the body incredibly sturdy and robust enough to be used all the time. You can use it to slice soft cheeses like Brie and gorgonzola, semi-hard like cheddar and gouda, but also hard cheeses like Gruyere and everything in-between.

PROS:

  • Adjustable handle
  • Can cut cheese up to 3.5 inches wide
  • Cast from a single piece of Zinc alloy
CONS:

Prodyne 805B Thick Beechwood Cheese Slicer

 Best Wire Cheese Slicer 

This has the look of something you find at the cheese counter which is exactly what a lot of people need in their home. Any cheese lover will get a good amount of use out of this impressive cheese board and wire cutter set. Made from quality beechwood, the board looks great and is ready to serve your perfect slices once you have pushed the wire through your cheese of choice.

A lot of people will enjoy being able to choose whatever width you like as you aren’t restricted by the boundaries of a manual wire cutter. The wire itself has a lifetime warranty so if it breaks Prodyne will send you a new one to attach to the board that has non-slip rubber feet to keep your slicing accurate and safe. The wire can get a little stretched which reduces some of the tension but it is one of the best products for entertaining.

PROS:

  • Quality beechwood board
  • Non-slip feet
  • Lifetime warranty on the wire
CONS:

  • Wire can get a little loose

Westmark Germany Multipurpose Stainless Steel Cheese and Food Slicer

 Best Stainless Steel 

Almost as much of a unit as it is a cheese slicer this makes getting perfect cuts every time simple. What impresses is the materials used, the blade is made from stainless steel so it will last a long time and is easy to clean and the handle is made from aluminum. One of the best features of this product is that it is more than a cheese slicer.

It can also be used to cut other foods such as sausages, cucumber, peppers, and more. In terms of being user friendly, it is one of the easiest cheese slicers when it comes to adjusting the thickness because the scale displays the thickness so you can get the same width time and again. To top it off, Westmark includes a 5-year warranty so this is going to be at your disposal for some time.

PROS:

  • Easy to adjust the thickness because of the scale
  • Quality materials used
  • Easy to clean
CONS:

  • Not as good with hard cheese

OXO 1071567 Cheese Slicer with Replaceable Wires

  

The best thing about this comfortable cheese slicer is that you can adjust the tension so when the wire starts to loosen, you can tighten things up again. On top of that, the wire is also replaceable so if it ever breaks, the handle is good to go again, especially since Oxo includes an additional wire with every purchase.

The die-cast Zinc construction is sturdy and dishwasher safe so it is easy to clean up after you’ve sliced a buffet board worth of cheeses. You can change the angle you slice at to adjust the thickness but it feels good in your hand and is easy to control.

PROS:

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Comes with an additional wire
  • Can adjust the tension of the wire
CONS:

  • Difficult to make consistent slices

K BASIX – Stainless Steel 8.2 Inch Cheese Plane/Slicer/Server

 Best For Hard Cheese 

This is the no-frills type of cheese slicer but is still made from quality materials such as stainless steel. The handle is made from soft rubber to ensure it fits nicely in the user’s hand and even has a hanging hole at the top for easy storage. Speaking of convenience, it can also go in the dishwasher so it is one of the easiest products on our list when it comes to cleaning.

The angled blade is sharp, making it ideal for making those thin, intricate slices without risking them breaking halfway through. A lot of people trust the brand because this cheese slicer comes with a lifetime guarantee so consider it a cheese slicer you never have to be without.

PROS:

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Comes with a lifetime guarantee
CONS:

  • Blade is a little narrow for some people

Mieriscle Cheese Slicer for Thin Slices

 Best For Thin Slices 

The wooden handle makes this a great cheese slicer to put beside the cheese board and let everyone slice their cheese to their taste. With a stainless steel head, it stays sharp for a long time and is easy to clean, because of the wooden handle it is advisable to dry it as soon as you have finished rinsing. You don’t need to use a lot of pressure, glide it flat across the cheese for best results.

Ideal for making consistent, thin slices of around 2 – 2.5mm, it might be simple but Mieriscle has used quality materials to ensure it will last a long time.

PROS:

  • Easy to use
  • Great for making thin slices
  • Quality materials and comfortable handle
CONS:

  • Not adjustable

Cheese Slicer Guide

It doesn’t matter if you have owned a cheese slicer for years or you are trying to ensure you always get even slices at home for the first time, some subtle differences go a long way towards ensuring you buy a quality product.

Not everyone knows what to expect from a cheese slicer which is why so many people end up with flimsy products that don’t last a long time. The better options will give you more than just adjustable slice widths and the following guide is designed to show you exactly what we mean.

What To Look For In A Cheese Slicer

Adjustable Thickness

This is going to be easier with certain types of cheese slicers than others, for example, a handheld cheese plane might make it difficult to cut at a different thickness compared to a wire cutter with a wheel for changing the position of the wire.

Easy To Clean

Because you might be cutting through soft cheese with some being left behind, it can be difficult to clean some cheese slicers. However, certain products are fine to go in the dishwasher or those that are easy to wipe clean by hand. A clean cheese slicer is vital to its ongoing performance.

Compatability

The best cheese slicers are those you can use on all types of cheeses. It shouldn’t matter if you are cutting soft cheese like Brie and anything as hard as Gruyere. If you want your cheeseboard to look presentable, you’ll want to create as many even slices as possible, no matter what the cheese.

Warranty/Guarantee

Because some of the parts on a cheese slicer can be very fragile such as the wire, it can be important to make sure you protect your purchase with a guarantee. Some companies swear by their products and give their customers a lifetime guarantee whilst others give you a warranty on certain parts.

Ease of Use

Beyond being comfortable to hold, the blade or wire should make it easy for you to slice through various cheeses and the handle shouldn’t be too heavy so you can balance the slicer with ease.

Safety

Because you are working with sharp tools it is always good to use one that has your safety in mind. To make sure the slicer doesn’t slip it needs to have a handle that has a decent level of grip and if you use a wire cutter on a board, the base should feature non-slip feet to keep everything in place.

Durability

For it to be worth considering, look to the materials used and other user reviews to make sure the product has a reputation for durability. Even if it has a long warranty, you want to know the cheese slicer isn’t going to break within a few months, these are the sort of kitchen utensils that should last a long time.

Keep in mind that wire cutters tend to be more fragile so don’t be overly alarmed if the wire breaks as they are often easy to replace.

Different Types of Cheese Slicers

Most people don’t even realize there are different types available but when making an informed decision, it is a good place to start.

Wire Slicer – Sometimes known as a roller slicer because the wire is attached to a roller, a lot of them allow you to adjust the thickness.

Plane – Using a flat surface and a single blade that resembles a plane, these are one of the most common types but can be limited in how thick they slice the cheese and don’t leave as much room for error.

Board Slicer – Usually you’ll find a board cheese slicer comes with a wire to cut at a thickness of your choosing although some make it easier with a scale to show you the thickness. A good cheese slicer for entertaining and one that will come with a board of various materials but usually certain types of wood.

Why Purchase A Cheese Slicer?

Before we say that seeing is believing, here are some of the main reasons why you should buy a cheese slicer.

Consistency – If you have always used a knife, even a sharpest of blades will result in odd cuts that are almost impossible to replicate time and again. The major plus point of a cheese slicer is that you can get the same thickness every time.

Appearance – If you’ve ever had guests over and brought out the cheese board at the end of a meal, you might have been too embarrassed to pre-cut without a slicer. A cheese slicer allows you to create perfect slices with a clean cut that looks great on a cheeseboard.

Easy To Use – Until you’ve used a cheese slicer you might be incorrectly thinking they are difficult to master. In truth, it takes just a couple of strokes to get it right and when you do, you’ll see that using one can save you a lot of time and effort.

How To Use A Cheese Slicer

Depending on the type of cheese you wish to cut, you should use a different approach and usually based on the hardness of the cheese.  A wire cheese slicer is best used on medium to hard cheese.

After adjusting both the position of the cheese and the wire to the desired thickness you press the wire over the cheese until the cut is made before moving the block back to leave yourself with a perfect slice.

It is better to use a cheese plane for soft cheese, simply by dragging the plane over the cheese slowly. Use a slightly faster technique for making thin slices of harder cheese.

Conclusion

Although it is tempting to try and get by with a sharp knife, it never looks good when entertaining and makes some pretty rough cuts most the time. The best way to stay accurate is by using a quality cheese slicer and now you know what to look for, there are no excuses for settling for anything less.

Best Ketchup in 2020 – Reviews

If you are anything like half the population, fries just aren’t fries without a generous side of ketchup to dip them in. Also, a BBQ is not a BBQ without the right condiments and it all starts with a bottle of the red stuff. Although some see it as little more than a sauce, the majority of people seem to know that it can make or break a meal.

Sub-par products taste like sweet vinegar whilst others get the texture all wrong. This is why we have decided to create a list of the best ketchup on the market. Each one nails the taste test but some performed better than others when it came to our other criteria such as ease of pouring and value. Scroll on to see which is the best and what brands make up the rest.

Quick Summary of Ketchup

 Editor’s Choice 
Primal Kitchen Organic Unsweetened Ketchup
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 Best Low Sodium 
Heinz Tomato Ketchup No Added Salt
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 Best Natural 
HUNTS TOMATO KETCHUP 100% NATURAL 1 x 680g
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 Best Value 
Sir Kensington’s Classic Ketchup 20 oz, 2 Pack
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 Best Paleo 
Steve’s PaleoGoods, PaleoChef Ketchup
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 Best Sachet 
Heinz Ketchup Single Serve Packets (9g Packets, Pack of 200)
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Primal Kitchen Organic Unsweetened Ketchup

 Editor’s Choice 

This is the best organic ketchup we have tasted and although it is unsweetened it is difficult to tell any differently. It is both Keto and paleo-friendly and contains ingredients that are USDA organic approved. There is no honey, agave, or cane syrup here so expect to taste juicy tomatoes and not a mouthful of sugar.

It is a common sight at the side of the BBQ of those a little more health-conscious but also makes the ideal condiment for dipping fries and anything else that takes your fancy. Founded in 2015, the Primal Kitchen brand has gone from strength to strength with many people crying out for a food brand that is healthy but tastes great. That’s exactly what you get in this organic ketchup that will stay fresh for up to 8 months once opened.

PROS:

  • Organic tomato ketchup
  • Unsweetened recipe
  • Keto and Paleo approved
CONS:

  • Glass bottle not as easy to pour from

Heinz Tomato Ketchup No Added Salt

 Best Low Sodium 

If it was on taste alone then Heinz is hard to beat and for a lot of us, it is the iconic taste of ketchup. However, there is also the health side to consider and in this no added salt version of their well-loved recipe they have improved it on all fronts. The squeeze bottle is as convenient to use as ever and the same delicious Heinz Ketchup flavor is there of course. Kosher certified you get a lot of value in this six-pack of a product you will find in restaurants and stadiums across the country.

Anyone who is looking for low-sodium ketchup should consider this product before all others as it is one of the few that actually maintains an excellent taste and silky-smooth texture rather than that pulpy grainy type that not everyone likes.

PROS:

  • No added salt, same great flavor
  • Squeeze bottle is easy to use
  • Smooth texture
  • Comes as a 6 pack
CONS:

  • Contains high fructose corn syrup

HUNTS TOMATO KETCHUP 100% NATURAL 1 x 680g

 Best Natural 

For ketchup that is 100% natural with no preservatives in sight, Hunts Tomato Ketchup is one of the best. It comes in an easy to squeeze container and because it is not overloaded with sugar you get to taste the tomatoes. It is known for coming with a zest that is obvious from the first taste without any high fructose corn syrup.

Made with vine-ripened tomatoes from California that for many people is the best tasting tomato ketchup available. Although mayonnaise outsells ketchup in the US, it is products like this that are keeping it close and in the 680g bottle, you are getting enough to last you a good amount of BBQs.

PROS:

  • 100% natural
  • Made from vine-ripened tomatoes
  • Good value in the 680g bottle
CONS:

Sir Kensington’s Classic Ketchup 20 oz, 2 Pack

 Best Value 

A classic ketchup recipe that is non-GMO, there is a lot to like about this products especially since it is made from Californian vine-ripened tomatoes. The two-pack is good value considering the price and it contains no high fructose corn syrup. There is no paste or concentrate as the first ingredient, just tomatoes as it should be and it is also kosher-friendly, paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and soy-free.

With no artificial ingredients, it tastes great and has a pleasing texture as you bite into those fries or dip those nuggets. There is a little raw cane sugar in there to lift the taste but even this is organic and fair trade.

PROS:

  • Non-GMO
  • No artificial ingredients
CONS:

  • Contains raw cane sugar but it is organic and fair trade

Steve’s PaleoGoods, PaleoChef Ketchup

 Best Paleo 

It can be hard enough following a Paleo lifestyle let alone having to live without ketchup but no more thanks to Steves PaeloGoods and this bottle. Although the creators would advise against dipping regular fries in there it does taste good and can be enjoyed with a side of sweet potato fries if you are sticking to a Paleo diet. Either way, it does have a nice tang to it and all without refined sugars.

Instead, it has an array of spices and the likes of orange blossom honey and golden seedless raisins help to sweeten it up a little. The bottle is easy to use but the shelf life is somewhat smaller than most – because it’s natural it is best enjoyed within 30 days of opening. Don’t let this put you off what is a good option for anyone who is eating clean.

PROS:

  • Natural ingredients
  • No refined sugars
  • Lots of flavor
CONS:

  • Has to be consumed within 30 days of opening

Heinz Ketchup Single Serve Packets (9g Packets, Pack of 200)

 Best Sachet 

Although these convenient packets aren’t Heinz’s organic or low-salt ketchup you’re paying for their portability. Still, there is no denying the great taste although many people will be averse to the sugar content. If you are trying to avoid ketchup that contains sugar then you might consider another product on the list but here you’re getting 200 x 9g packets of the original recipe Heinz Ketchup.

The texture is the same one that everyone seems to know and is full of vine-ripened tomatoes and a handful of spices. These are perfect for keeping in your bag for a ketchup emergency or taking on a picnic and are packed in a sturdy box to keep the packets intact.

PROS:

  • Convenient packets
  • Bulk pack is good value
CONS:

  • Some people received ketchup close to the expiry date

Ketchup Guide

When it’s time to upgrade your ketchup you need to start by researching what makes a quality product. If you are bored of the same two brands you always buy then you need to reconsider your condiment options but when every company makes the same promises it can be hard to tell them apart.

This is why we have created the following guide, to help clarify some of the better attributes of quality ketchup and ensure you know what to avoid. We cover everything worth knowing to make your next purchase an easy one.

What To Look For In Ketchup

The First Ingredient

This is a good place to start and if you remember nothing else then make sure you check the first ingredient before buying. Not only do some brands list sugar as the first (always a bad sign), but some have concentrate or puree. What you want to know is that the first ingredient is made up of tomatoes and nothing else.

Natural Ingredients

You want as many of these as possible with some brands giving you a product that is made only from natural ingredients. A popular start is with vine-ripened tomatoes but anything from vinegar to raw cane sugar can be natural.

The main thing to do is to make sure the product you buy has as few or no artificial ingredients as possible. If you can’t read the ingredient with ease then it might be best to avoid it and although a lot of products tend to have high fructose corn syrup as part of the ingredients list, there are alternatives out there.

Texture

Not enough people put the right amount of emphasis into this as it needs – texture accounts for so much of what makes a ketchup good or one to swerve. If you look at any blind test then the results are pretty conclusive – smooth texture beats grainy and pulpy pretty much every time.

The grainy types tend to fall off a fry so you don’t get a good coating and although these are often the healthier options, it doesn’t always make for good ketchup.

Tangy Taste

Again, look at the results of any blind taste test and what you will find is a mix of random people with a majority that lean towards a tangy, vinegar led taste. This can be picked up by a handful of spices but the taste should have a blend of tang as well as being sweet with a hint of savory in there too.

Organic Ingredients

This isn’t going to be high on everyone’s list, but if it is then you do not have to go without organic ketchup. There are plenty of products out there with many brands offering an organic alternative on top of their non-organic version and the result is often just as good.

Sugar Content

Although it is better to keep the sugar content down, sometimes it is difficult to avoid it altogether. Even the natural and organic products that seem good on first impressions can be full of sweeteners such as honey and agave syrup. There is no replacement for the natural tang of tomatoes and as long as the added sugar or sweet alternative doesn’t take over then you should still enjoy the ketchup.

Convenience

This can be in the form of long shelf life for those who don’t use a lot of ketchup to using packet ketchup that you can throw in a bag. There are certain products that are more convenient to use than others. We’ll get onto the types of bottles used a little later.

Brand Reputation

Although buying ketchup from a food festival can be good, they aren’t always easy to get hold of again if you enjoyed the product. There are plenty of products that are made by reputable brands and the benefit of this comes with quality customer service should you have any questions and certain standards when it comes to quality.

Sweetened Vs Unsweetened Ketchup

This is all down to personal preference and although the health benefits of unsweetened ketchup might be obvious, they don’t always taste as good. As long as they have compensated for the lack of sweetness with flavor (it can be in the form of added spice for example), then there are some great tasting unsweetened ketchup on the market.

Tomato Ketchup Shelf Life

Most of us tend to avoid certain preservatives but if you do, you have to keep an eye on how long the ketchup you are looking at will stay fresh for. Natural products can last for as little as a few weeks once opened and although you probably don’t want ketchup that is still ok to use a year or so after opening it is important to know how long yours lasts before you buy, especially if you do not use it so often.

Ketchup Bottles: Plastic Vs Glass

So you’ve managed to decide on ketchup that ticks all the important boxes to you but now you have to make another decision, the bottle.

There is a lot of good going for glass bottles, they feel sturdy and are free from BPA’s which is something that can’t always be said for plastic containers. Still, when the bottle is anywhere near half empty and below you can find yourself spending more time using your palm to knock the bottom just to get the ketchup pouring. Then, you can find it difficult just to make the thing stop.

There is no such hassle with a plastic bottle of ketchup as accuracy is easy. Still, you want to make sure the plastic is made from BPA-free materials but if it is, at least there is little risk or the packaging breaking in transit which can be an issue with glass ketchup bottles.

It’s all down to personal preference with benefits to both.

Conclusion

Although quality ketchup can be right in front of you, it isn’t always easy to know how good it is until you’ve tasted it for yourself. The best way to get close to a good thing is by following the above to enjoy great tasting ketchup that gives you another excuse to have fries with that.

Best Meat Slicers in 2020 – Reviews

Even though not every single kitchen is going to have the room for a slicer, for those households that do, it’s an almost essential piece of equipment to buy. That’s because a slicer can be used for cutting meat, vegetables and just about anything else the cook needs to buy. This expands the number of dishes that can be cooked in the home and allows everyone to make restaurant-quality meals. It’s such an important piece of equipment, we’ve decided to review the best meat slicers available. Models that deliver professional quality cuts, are easy to use and are easy to clean.

Quick Summary of Meat Slicers

 Best Overall 
KWS MS-10NT Commercial 10-Inch Electric Slicer
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 Best Value 
OSTBA Electric 7.5-Inch Deli Food Slicer
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 Best Affordable 
Valley Sportsman 8.7-inch Electric Food Slicer
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KWS MS-10NT Commercial 10-Inch Electric Slicer

 Best Overall 

We have to say that when we first saw this meat slicer we were blown away. It was a model that was designed for commercial use but could easily be used in the home. This model features a powerful 320-watt motor that provides the blade with all of the power that it needs to cut through meats, cheeses, vegetables, or fruits up to a 0.4-inch thick. It’s a slicer that has a body made of aluminum-alloy, which is less likely to corrode than the metal used to make other slicers, and it has a quality 10-inch blade that’s made of stainless steel and is coated with Teflon. Let’s find out how that blade makes a difference.

Most of the blades used on modern meat slicers use a carbon steel blade. While that blade generally works very well, it does have a few drawbacks. For one, the blade ends up getting oxidized quite easily, especially if the consumer doesn’t make sure it’s washed and immediately dried after use. Another drawback of carbon steel blades is that heat can build up across the blade during heavy slicing sessions, and this excess heat can cause the blade to become blunt. This slicer’s 10-inch stainless steel blade doesn’t have those problems. It not only doesn’t corrode as easily as carbon steel, but the Teflon on it helps to prevent heat buildup, and this helps prevent the dulling of the blade.

Of course, the blade isn’t the only reason for consumers to consider this premium meat slicer. It also boasts a few other features that are quite useful. For instance, it has a built-in sharpener that keeps the blade razor-sharp and only takes a few seconds to use. This model also has non-skid feet to keep the slicer from moving around the counter during use and a waterproof on/off switch for safety. It also features a blade guard and a removable tray assembly that’s easy to keep clean. Sure, this meat slicer might cost more than comparable slicers, but we’re confident that it’s a model that’s sure to provide both commercial and home kitchens with years of service.

PROS:

  • Delivers professional quality results.
  • Easy-to-use & easy-to-clean.
CONS:

  • Costs a little more than some other meat slicers.

OSTBA Electric 7.5-Inch Deli Food Slicer

 Best Value 

We fully understand that not everyone needs a commercial meat slicer. While commercial models are good for handling a large number of meats, vegetables, and cheeses, they often take up quite a bit of counter space. They also usually have a hefty price tag attached to them, a price tag that may turn some people off to buying a slicer. On the other hand, the last thing that people want is a “cheap” slicer that doesn’t do the job they want it to do. That’s why we’re taking it upon ourselves to find a slicer that existed somewhere these two extremes. A model that did a great job slicing, but didn’t require the home cook to take out a loan. And this is the model that we’ve found.

This model is designed from the ground-up to be functional but doesn’t have the high price tag that some slicers do. In fact, in some instances, this slicer is only 1/4th-1/3rd the cost of many commercial slicers. And it was designed in such a way that it still had the features the consumer needs to get the job done. One of the first things worth mentioning about this slicer is that it’s equipped with a 200-watt motor that delivers a fast blade speed. Although this motor might be able to deliver the yield that 300+ watt slicers deliver, most homes aren’t going to need that kind of meat cutting capacity in the first place.

Another thing that we liked about this slicer was that it had a 7.5-inch serrated blade that really cuts through meat, cheese, and vegetables well. And it’s cutting thickness is easy to adjust using its thickness knob. This knob can be set from 0 to 0.59-inch, so the consumer can dial in the thickness that they desire. Other important features that can be found on this model includes rubber feet that help to keep the slicer from sliding around, child-lock protection switches that help prevent children from turning it on, and a removable slid-rod extension for easy cleaning.

PROS:

  • It’s a great value slicer.
  • It’s extremely easy to use.
CONS:

  • Isn’t a commercial-grade slicer.

Valley Sportsman 8.7-inch Electric Food Slicer

 Best Affordable 

To be completely honest with our readers, we weren’t all that sure about this slicer when we first came across it. Why? Well, for one, it’s price tag seemed to be almost too good to be true. It was considerably cheaper than even some of the budget-conscious meat slicers that were available. Another thing that made us suspicious about this slicer was that it had a cheap look to it. It just didn’t look like it was capable of doing any type of serious slicing, and if it did, we were sure that it wouldn’t last very long. Fortunately, we were wrong on both counts, and this slicer turned out to be a pretty good one.

Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying that this model can compete with the commercial slicers or even the budget-conscious ones. All we’re saying is that it will do most of the slicing that home kitchens are going to need it to do, and it’s going to do that slicing without falling apart. We found that this slice had a decent 180-watt motor that operated the 8.7-inch stainless steel blade with enough speed and force to slice vegetables, meats, and cheeses quite well. It was capable of slicing meat up to 9/16th of an inch, and it had a removable stainless steel carriage cover that was easy to maintain.

Another thing worth mentioning about this slicer was that it had non-slip feet that kept it from sliding around while it was being used. We also liked the fact that this model was compact and didn’t take up a whole lot of counter space, and if the consumer didn’t have the counter space in the first place, they could easily move it and store it elsewhere. With all of that in mind, we think that this is a decent budget slicer that should serve most people well, especially if their expectations aren’t too high. It’s a model that’s suitable for the household that does the occasional meat or cheese slicing and doesn’t want to spend too much on one of these tools.

PROS:

  • Cuts meats and cheeses well.
  • It’s very inexpensive.
CONS:

  • Has a lower quality look to it.

A Guide to Meat Slicers

Having just spent our time researching some of the best meat slicers available, we learned a lot about these tools. We learned how they operate, what features are useful, and what features are not. We also discovered just what the consumer should look for when they’re choosing a new one. We’ve decided to take all of this useful information and share it with our readers, so they too can find the best home slicer for their meats. And this guide is the fruit of our labor, so we hope all of our readers find it quite useful.

The Benefits Of Buying A Meat Slicer

We understand that not all consumers are convinced that a meat slicer is a useful addition to their home, despite our assertions that indeed it is, so we decided to list some of the benefits that the consumer can gain from buying one. We’re sure that once all of our readers look over the following list, they’ll understand just how valuable these machines are and what to purchase one for their home. Let’s take a look at 3 reasons why everyone should consider adding a meat slicer to their kitchen.

Reason One: They Save Money

The first reason for owning a meat slicer is that they save the consumer money in the long run. Whole meats that haven’t been sliced are cheaper than pre-sliced meats or having the butcher at your local store slice it. This can save the consumer quite a bit of money, and most slicers pay for themselves in no time flat.

Reason Two: The User Can Determine Thickness

Another reason for using a home slicer is that it allows the consumer to choose how thin or thick their cut is. Most of the packaged sliced lunch meat sold these days are one uniform size, which can make it difficult for people who like paper-thin cuts or ham-like thicker cuts.

Reason Three: Allows The Consumer To Process A Variety of Foods

Of course, meat slicers aren’t just good for slicing meat. They can be used for a variety of other food processing jobs. How do restaurants get even tomato slices for their burgers? They use a slicer. It can also be used to slice cheeses for sandwiches, green peppers for pizzas, and even cabbage for sauerkraut.

Choosing The Best Meat Slicer

Now that everyone understands the importance of using these slicers in their kitchen, it’s time to get the central purpose of this guide and find out how to buy the best meat slicer possible. Although meat slicers aren’t that complex, there are a few key features that consumers should keep in mind when they’re buying one. In this guide, we’re going to examine each of those key features.

Step One: Choose An Appropriate Size

The very first thing that the consumer is going to want to consider is the size of the meat slicer. Although large slicers are capable of dealing with huge cuts of meats and thick blocks of cheese, they do take up a bit of counter space. And if there’s not enough counter space for the consumer to use the slicer, then they’re probably not going to want to use it that often. Therefore, the consumer needs to choose the size that fits their needs the best but is small enough to be easily placed in their kitchen. On average, most slicers are available in the 7-inch to 14-inch range, so consumers have plenty of size options to choose from.

Step Two: Choose The Appropriate Power & Speed

The next thing to think about is the size of the slicer’s motor. As a general rule, the large the motor, the more power it will deliver to the blade. Although some consumers aren’t going to need the power provided by a 300+ watt motor, if the consumer intends on doing a lot of slicing they’re probably going to want to get a model in this range. That’s because if the motor is worked harder than what it was intended to do, it will end up overheating, and the user will have to pause slicing operations until the motor has sufficiently cooled down. Of course, if the consumer doesn’t need that kind of power, then choosing one in the 150-watt to 250-watt range should work just fine.

Step Three: Additional Options To Consider

Finally, we would like to talk about some of the other options that consumers might find useful when they’re thinking about buying a new meat slicer. Although not all of the following features are necessary, they do make using the slicer safer and easier to do, so they should at least be considered.

  • Child-Proof Power Locks
  • Removable Blade Guards
  • Removable Carriage Cover
  • Adjustable Thickness Knob
  • Quiet Operation

Best Grill Cleaners in 2020 – Reviews

When your afternoon at the grill has come to an end, the best thing you can do is clean it in preparation for next time. Leaving it too long can leave you with what looks like an impossible task. This job can be made a lot easier with a quality grill cleaner but it can be difficult to find the right one.

With so many products on the market, all promising to leave your grill sparkling, it can be hard to tell which ones are safe to use and those that will stop you from having to do all the hard work. We have identified the best grill cleaners around so you don’t have to spend hours researching the best one for your needs.

Quick Summary of Grill Cleaners

 Editor’s Choice 
Carbona 320 Carbona 2-In 1 Oven Rack And Barbeque Cleaner 500ml
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 Best Plant-based 
Therapy Premium Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish
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 Best Affordable 
Easy Off Professional Oven & Grill Cleaner, 24 oz Can
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 Best Odor Free 
TriNova Grill Cleaner Spray for BBQ
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 Best Budget 
Parker Bailey Cleaning Product BBQ Grill Cleaner and Degreaser
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 Best Stone Grill Cleaner 
Better Grilling’’s Magic-Stone Grill Cleaner Scrub
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Carbona 320 Carbona 2-In 1 Oven Rack And Barbeque Cleaner 500ml

 Editor’s Choice 

One of the easiest grill cleaners to use and it does everything in 3 steps. For the racks, you simply place them inside the included bags and pour the solution in so it gives an even clean around the various angles. After leaving them to soak for while you remove them and rinse.

This is one of the easiest ways of cleaning an awkward grill and for a neglected BBQ grill, it only takes a minimal amount of scrubbing to remove the burnt-on dirt. It comes with everything you need to get started so you get the solution, cleaning bag, as well as disposable gloves. With 500 ml included they are good for more than a few uses and are ideal for use on stainless steel or enamel grill grates.

PROS:

  • Easy 3 step operation
  • Makes a tough job simple
  • Minimal scrubbing required
  • Includes bags and disposable gloves
CONS:

Therapy Premium Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish

 Best Plant-based 

A popular and high-quality product that s great for cleaning up the outer surfaces of your grill as it provides a nice polish that lasts. It is versatile so it can be used on any stainless steel surface so you can use the included microfiber cloth to leave your fridge or oven top looking its sparkling best.

Anyone concerned about the toxicity of a grill cleaner will like what the see on the label of this product as it is made from plant-based ingredients. For the grill itself, the best approach is to let it soak for a while to it can attack the dirt and left on grease, this also makes it easier to wipe off later. Because it uses plant-based ingredients, you might find yourself having to re-apply.

PROS:

  • Leaves stainless steel with a shiny polish
  • Made from plant-based ingredients
  • Comes with microfibre cloth
CONS:

  • Not as tough on grease as other brands

Easy Off Professional Oven & Grill Cleaner, 24 oz Can

 Best Affordable 

One of those go-to brands for all types of oven cleaner and this one impresses as much as their other products. Easy Off has created this effective and affordable grill cleaner made with heavy-duty ingredients to ensure you only need to give the grill a light scrub after.

The downside is that it does contain a long list of chemicals so you need to read the safety precautions before using and those who are sensitive to these types of products should probably best avoid it. However, those who want their grill to clean in the easiest way possible should still consider this product as it is one of the best and fastest to work. It can also be used for spot cleaning, lifting stains within 5 minutes.

PROS:

  • Very effective and easy to use spray
  • Good value
  • Doubles up as a spot cleaner
CONS:

  • Contains a lot of chemicals so use it carefully

TriNova Grill Cleaner Spray for BBQ

 Best Odor Free 

This brand often pops up on oven cleaner lists but their grill cleaner spray is up there with the best as well. The non-stick formula lifts residue from the grill and can be used alongside whatever scrubbing accessory you prefer. The phosphate-free formula cuts through grease and can be sprayed onto any part of the BBQ to make sure everything is clean.

For those who worry about grill cleaner ingredients, this is odor-free and kinder on the skin than most brands in the grill cleaning industry. Because of the lack of harsh chemicals, you might find yourself having to apply the spray twice which seems like a good compromise for not having to consume overbearing and harmful fumes.

PROS:

  • Can be used on any part of the BBQ
  • Odor-free
  • Easy to use
CONS:

  • Makes hard work of tougher grease

Parker Bailey Cleaning Product BBQ Grill Cleaner and Degreaser

 Best Budget 

As close to an all-in-one solution that you can find for a BBQ as it targets the grill as well as the outside to leave the whole unit looking its best. Any baked-on grease and grime will be removed from any surface and it is fine for use on anything that comes into contact with food.

It loosens the dirt which makes it easy to scrub off with a brush before rinsing. When using on the outside of the grill, the results are impressive as when it has been wiped off, there is no oily residue that some of the cheaper brands can sometimes leave. Use it on your grilling tools and countertops to make them sparkle.

PROS:

  • Can be used on a variety of surfaces
  • Makes scrubbing the grease off of grills easy
  • Streak free
CONS:

  • Need to apply quite a lot

Better Grilling’’s Magic-Stone Grill Cleaner Scrub

 Best Stone Grill Cleaner 

This neat product offers you the chance to clean your grill with a different approach. Most products will leave you having to use a bit of elbow grease to lift the burnt-on food and debris so why not get straight into it? The scrubber itself is non-toxic and completely fine to hold in your hand and completely odorless.

It is anti-bacterial so it makes the grill more hygienic and only requires a light pressure to lift stubborn grease and dirt. It’s actually made from 100% heated glass and wears down in the same way a pumice stone does. With no chemicals in sight, it is one of the safest for you and the environment, not to mention it provides impressive results.

PROS:

  • Odorless and non-toxic
  • Works fast to lift grease
  • Easy to use
CONS:

  • Requires a bit of manual work

Grill Cleaner Guide

Although it’s never a good idea to leave the cleaning of your grill until the end of Summer, there are some products that are tough on even the most neglected of BBQ grills. Even if you want to use a product regularly to keep everything clean, it is important to find the right one for your needs.

There are some that are more natural than others and those that contain more chemicals so it is important to do your research to make sure you get an effective grill cleaner, but one that is safe. To help you make sure you know what a quality product should be capable of, we have created the following guide.

What To Look For In A Grill Cleaner

Quality Ingredients

Of course, an effective grill cleaner is only able to do its job when it includes the right ingredients. Because of the tough task a grill cleaner has to undertake, they are often full of harsh chemicals that lift the grease and burnt-on grime so you don’t have to do as much scrubbing. However, there are some great alternatives that use a natural formula so you can choose between the two to eliminate the stains off your grill.

No Toxic Fumes

This is easier said than done as a lot of great cleaners have quite a pungent, chemical smell. This isn’t always the case though so you don’t have to settle if this is an issue. Some grill cleaners are odor-free whilst others contain natural ingredients so the odor is not going to be harmful.

Most of the time a grill cleaner is going to be used outdoors anyway so you will be spraying in a well-ventilated area. Whatever product you like the sound of, check for toxic fumes first.

Applications

The tougher grill cleaners only take one application to work and this will often result in a light scrubbing. This is more common with the harsher formulas so if you want something more natural, then you might have to deal with repeating the spraying process more than once.

Another thing to consider is how you administer the formula. Some products are spray-on grill cleaners which are easy to apply but can be messy. Some are designed to be used within a bag where you can leave the grill to soak and is one of the easiest ways to get an awkward grill clean.

Then, there are the scrubbing stones that require you to do the work but if you find the right one, they can be completely safe to use and handle without gloves.

Versatility

Because grill cleaners contain a unique blend of ingredients, they are often capable of cleaning different surfaces. This is great as you often end up having a lot of the bottle left over and don’t need to clean your grill too frequently.

Look for a grill cleaner that can be used on a multitude of surfaces including the outsider of the grill, the oven top, or just one that can be used as a spot cleaner.

Fast Working

You either want your grill cleaner of choice to work fast or be easy to use. Anything you have to soak overnight should be ease to scrub or just require a rinse the next day.

Alternatively, some products are fast working and only require a few minutes of your patience before you can scrub. This leaves you to with more time on your hands to light up that grill again.

Heavy-Duty Vs Gentle Grill Cleaners

You might be considering two very different products and need to know a little more to help you decide. The following are the benefits and major differences of both heavy-duty and gentle grill cleaners.

Heavy-Duty

If you want a job done fast, and don’t like the sound of having to scrub a lot, then a heavy-duty grill cleaner can be appealing. The downside is the harsh chemicals that are often used and if you have kids and pets around, you need to take extra care.

As with any product, check if it omits toxic fumes and if it is safe to handle so you can adhere to the safety precautions and wear the correct protective clothing.

Gentle

Anyone who feels their eyes start to water or their skin itching around certain cleaning products will probably want to find an effective but gentle grill cleaner. They are kinder on the senses and can often be handled without protective gloves.

The downside is that they might be less effective at lifting grease so expect to have to reapply and scrub a little harder but if you are putting your health first, then these are the better products to use to clean your grill.

Are Grill Cleaners Safe?

A lot will depend on what type of product you use but as long as you follow the safety guidelines, a grill cleaner should still be safe to use. Certain products have an all-natural formula making them completely safe to use and without toxic fumes.

Any product that starts to cause breathing difficulties or irritation of any sort should be avoided.

What Is The Best Grill Cleaner?

A lot of people will say that the best grill cleaner is the one that gets the job done quickly but this isn’t the only approach to consider. We like the convenience of being able to soak the grill in a bag as scrubbing at a grill can be a time-consuming process.

This is why we believe Carbona 320 Carbona 2-In 1 Oven Rack And Barbeque Cleaner 500ml is the best grill cleaner going. It only requires you to follow 3 simple steps and although you have to soak it for a while, it does a lot of the hard work for you so the minimal amount of scrubbing required feels even better.

It is also the best we reviewed because it is effective and makes an awkward job more bearable and comes with everything you need to make sure your grill looks as good as ever.

Best Cornbread Mixes in 2020 – Reviews

Sweet or savory, the best cornbread might be somewhere in the middle although it can be better to find one that is tailored one way or another. With a lot of famous brands making their own, it can be hard to tell which is going to give you warm, fluffy muffins that taste the way you remember from your childhood and those that are difficult to use.

Some products come as a specific flavor but a lot of the time, the taste makes you think it is little more than a gimmick. To help make sure you end up with a product that can become a favorite brand in your household, we have created a list of the best cornbread mixes.

Quick Summary of Cornbread Mixes

 Editor’s Choice 
Krusteaz Southern Cornbread and Muffin Mix
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 Best Value 
CHI-CHI’S Sweet Corn Cake Mix
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 Best Sweet 
Famous Dave’s Corn Bread Mix
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 Best Gluten Free 
Gluten Free by Glutino Pantry, Yankee Cornbread Mix
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 Best For Stuffing 
Betty Crocker Betty Crocker Authentic Cornbread & Muffin Mix, 6.5 oz (Pack of 9)
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 Best Affordable 
Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix 8.5oz (Pack of 4)
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Krusteaz Southern Cornbread and Muffin Mix

 Editor’s Choice 

Somewhat of a classic this sweet and savory cornbread mix is a staple in many kitchens across the country and is easy to make in a skillet or muffin tin to get the shape you need. As you would hope with a mix it is easy to prepare and you don’t need much in the way of added ingredients.

On the back, you’ll find 3 easy to follow instructions so you can grab the milk, butter, and eggs to make a cornbread that is denser than other brands and one that many people seem to love with chili. These are packs of 12 and comes in 3 different flavors that all hit the mark, even the honey version isn’t overly sweet making it an ideal entree that easy to make when you’re preparing food for your guests and up against the clock.

PROS:

  • Easy to follow instructions
  • Not overly sweet
  • Good value
CONS:

CHI-CHI’S Sweet Corn Cake Mix

 Best Value 

For sweet corn cakes, this is many people’s go-to cornbread mix. It makes moist cakes that can be used as a side or dessert and is known for being low in fat and cholesterol. You get 12 mixes in this value pack so whenever you’re struggling for a way to bulk out your meal, this offers you a convenient way to use a few household ingredients to make a popular dish.

It tastes great with spices dishes so it’s no surprise to see that CHI-CHI’s advise it goes well with chili, suggesting on the back that you make it in a loaf pan. Still, it can be made into muffin shapes by using a muffin tray. Some prefer their cornbread to be a little firmer as they do end ups on the moist side but this shouldn’t put off everyone else.

PROS:

  • Goes well with spicy food
  • Good value in the 12-pack
  • Easy to make
CONS:

  • Some people find it a bit moist

Famous Dave’s Corn Bread Mix

 Best Sweet 

A popular cornbread mix that comes in this generous 4-pack so you can always have an easy to use mix to hand. The result is what many people consider to be the best way to enjoy a cornbread, crunchy on the outside but warm and fluffy in the middle.

You only need water, milk, and eggs to combine with the mix, the staple foods in many people’s homes so even if you store the boxes you aren’t using, you should be able to make a batch anytime. It has been made to replicate the taste of the cornbread found at Famous Dave’s restaurants which is never a bad thing since that means you’re getting a subtle sweetness that many people love.

PROS:

  • Good value
  • Only requires water, milk, and eggs
  • Same taste as Famous Dave’s restaurant cornbread
CONS:

  • Some people prefer their cornbread a little more moist

Gluten Free by Glutino Pantry, Yankee Cornbread Mix

 Best Gluten Free 

Anyone who has a gluten intolerance will often find that their choices are limited but when it comes to making a cornbread mix, there is no need to miss out. This quality mix makes fluffy moist Yankee cornbread and is as easy to use as other brands. There is no wheat, gluten, or casein to be found so it is a great way to enjoy this inexpensive option with just a handful of ingredients required.

As long as you have buttermilk, butter, and eggs, and sugar at the ready then you can make this impressive product and won’t be able to tell it apart from a regular cornbread mix. Glutino Pantry makes a variety of gluten-free products so they are brand you can trust to get this product right.

PROS:

  • Easy to make
  • Great gluten-free alternative
  • Makes fluffy, moist cornbread
CONS:

  • Not as sweet as some people like

Betty Crocker Betty Crocker Authentic Cornbread & Muffin Mix, 6.5 oz (Pack of 9)

 Best For Stuffing 

The name Betty Crocker is synonymous with all things baking so it’s no surprise that this regularly comes up as one of the best cornbread mixes. With a pack of 9, you’re going to have a good supply of an easy to use mix and end up making plenty of perfect cornbread that isn’t too far sweet or savory and is one of the best mixes for adding your own flavor and putting your unique stamp on the recipe.

This is one of the best mixes for stuffing a turkey which is why it flies off the shelves in December. It is best mixed into an 8-inch square pan so expect thinner cornbread, if this is a problem you can always make more.

PROS:

  • Not too sweet or salty
  • Has various uses
CONS:

  • Cornbread comes out thinner than most

Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix 8.5oz (Pack of 4)

 Best Affordable 

You only need milk and eggs to make this muffin mix that can be made into cornbread with ease. Jiffy is one of the most popular brands when it comes to flavor as it is another brand that gets the right blend of not overly sweet or salty and goes well with some minor adjustments to the recipe if you want to sweeten things up little and serve it as a dessert.

You get four boxes but they are easy to store since they are on the small side but if one isn’t enough, just add a second to get the right amount for larger groups. You can also get this in a vegan-friendly version but it is this classic box that has made the brand so popular, just add milk and eggs.

PROS:

  • Good value
  • Doesn’t take up a lot of room in the cupboard
  • Versatile cornbread mix
CONS:

  • Can be a little dry for some tastes

Cornbread Mix Guide

Some people think that cornbread is difficult to get wrong which is fair enough considering you can use a convenient cornbread mix. However, when it is made you still want the right fluffy texture and not overly sweet taste. This is why it is important to do a little research so you know what to expect from a reputable brand.

There are so many to choose from that we had to create the following guide. It details everything you need to know before buying so you can make those perfect cornbread cakes or a tray of the versatile side whenever you like.

What To Look For In Cornbread Mix

Value

Every brand offers you something a little different but since you always want to have the option of an easy to make side, it is a good idea to buy multipacks. The bigger the pack, the better the value can be but even if you opt for a 4-pack you’ll often get a better deal than a single pack.

Also, you never know when you’ll need to make a double portion so it’s best to keep extra around.

Texture

This is hard to critique because everyone has a different palette and preference so don’t be put off by one person’s negative review because the cornbread mix they used made a tray that was too moist. Whether you like a firmer cornbread or a fluffy texture, there is a brand that matches your preference.

Gluten-Free

If you have gluten intolerance then great news – you don’t have to miss out on warm cornbread! Some brands are known for making a better mix than others so stick with a recommended product such as Glutino Pantry, Yankee Cornbread Mix because it is easy to make and the brand has a history of making great-tasting gluten-free alternatives.

Versatility

Not every brand is going to mix well with other ingredients but the ones that do are like gold dust. This is because you never know when you might want to spice things up with a few jalapenos or sweeten the mix a little. There are plenty of brands that are great for mixing things up and some even give a little advice with suggested recipes.

Simple Additional Ingredients

A cornbread mix is going to require wet ingredients so be sure to add any specific products to your grocery shop when you order yours. Thankfully, they are usually as simple as milk and eggs which is preferrable since most people have these in their kitchen so when you’re making a batch of cornbread you have everything you need.

This also gives you the chance to tailor the mix so you can replace salted butter for non-salted or reduce the amount of sugar slightly depending on your taste.

Sweet or Savory

…or something in between? Much like a lot of the key factors in buying cornbread mix, this is down to personal preference. Not all products have to be one or the other as you’ll find some brands even make a variety of flavors.

Most people tend to want a cornbread that gives you a bit of both so if this is you, stay on the lookout for something that is known for its subtle sweetness.

Can Cornbread Batter Be Frozen?

It is fine to freeze your cornbread batter after mixing too much but certain methods are better. It is best to pour them into a muffin tray with muffin cases at the ready. Fill them a little over halfway and freeze for a couple of hours.

When this is done you can remove the muffin cases with frozen batter and store them in an airtight container before returning them to the freezer. You’ll find that they are still fine to use after a few months.

How Many Calories Are There In Cornbread?

Although the word bread might make you think it is closer to something savory, cornbread has a sweetness and ingredient profile that makes it closer to cake. Because of this, you should expect it to contain more calories so make sure you buy a product that comes with clear nutritional information.

In truth, the amount of calories in cornbread varies depending on the specific recipe and will even fluctuate greatly between cornbread mix brands. Some sources advise that one ounce contains around 94 calories but this should be considered a very rough guide.

How To Make Cornbread More Moist

If you find the cornbread mix you are using is on the dry side, there are certain things you can do to make it moist.

A popular and effective way to do this is to replace the milk or water that the mix advises you add with creamed corn. This creates a pan of perfectly fluffy cornbread and means you don’t need to throw out any additional packs you have in the cupboard.

Cornbread Mix Vs Homemade Cornbread

We’re not going to sit here and tell you that your mother’s recipe isn’t as good as a commercial cornbread mix. For a start, we’re not that rude or presumptuous, and second, we haven’t tried it!

There is something about a fresh tray of a family recipe cornbread that is near impossible to beat but what this doesn’t give you is the convenience. Being able to mix a few ingredients then throw it in the oven is great, especially when you have other more complicated dishes to prepare.

Also, a cornbread mix is ideal for families who want to add an extra side to their dinner or need to bulk out a meal for unexpected guests.

What Is The Best Cornbread Mix?

Now that you know what a quality cornbread mix should give you, there is no reason why you can’t be enjoying one of the reputable brands that have been getting their flavor and texture right for many years.

In our eyes, no cornbread mix comes close to Krusteaz Southern Cornbread and Muffin Mix. It has 3 simple instructions, the added ingredients are easy to get hold of and it makes perfect fluffy cornbread easy.

Best Granite Cleaners in 2020 – Reviews

Granite is the preferred material for countertops by many people because it not only is beautiful but is durable and resistant to bacteria. It’s a surface that can take a beating and still look good for years to come. However, just because this material is resilient doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need to be properly cared for and maintained. For that purpose, the consumer is going to want to buy the best granite cleaner that they can buy. A cleaner that removes tough stains and helps to keep the countertop looking its best. We’ve found a few cleaning products that fit the bill and should provide the consumer with the tools they need to keep their granite counters looking good.

Quick Summary of Granite Cleaners

 Editor’s Choice 
Weiman Granite Cleaner & Polish 2-Pack
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 Also Recommended 
Granite Gold Daily Cleaner & Spray
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 Also Consider 
Hope’s Perfect 100% Streak-Free Granite & Marble Cleaner
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Weiman Granite Cleaner & Polish 2-Pack

 Editor’s Choice 

Anyone looking to get the most out of their granite counter is going to want to clean it regularly, otherwise, it’s going to dull and not hold up to expectations. Unfortunately, far too many people don’t clean their granite regularly, or if they do, they clean it improperly. We don’t know how many people we’ve seen use a cleaner that isn’t suitable for granite on their counters, or just plain soap and water. We’ve even seen DIY magazines, so-called experts on the subject, recommend that consumers use soap and water. In our opinion, that’s some truly bad advice. The only way to clean a granite counter is to use a cleaner like this product from Weiman.

This product is specifically designed to handle the special needs of granite. It’s a specialized formula that’s designed for daily cleaning. It’s a product that’s easy-to-use and removes not only grime but also grease, watermarks, and stains as well. And since it’s a pH-balanced formula, it will perform its cleaning without discoloring the granite or causing it to deteriorate. Cleaning granite isn’t the only benefit this product provides, however. It’s also capable of gently polishing the natural stone surface so that it looks its best. When it’s used regularly, this product will not only maintain the look of granite but it will also help to enhance it.

Of course, this product isn’t as inexpensive as other types of cleaners, but we believe that once consumers begin using it they won’t want to use any other cleaner on their granite surfaces. It’s also worth mentioning that this product isn’t just suitable for cleaning granite surfaces, but can be used on a variety of natural stone surfaces. This includes marble, quartz, soapstone, limestone, slate, and Corian laminate. It can even be used on concrete if the consumer so desires. All of this makes this cleaner one of the best granite cleaners available and one that anyone with granite in their kitchen is going to want to consider.

PROS:

  • Specifically designed for day-to-day cleaning.
  • Never leaves streaks or watermarks on surfaces.
CONS:

  • Costs more than some other cleaners.

Granite Gold Daily Cleaner & Spray

 Also Recommended 

While we were reviewing some of the best granite cleaners available, we came across this product from Granite Gold and decided to not only give it a try but to research the company behind this product. And what we discovered was quite remarkable. This company goes back to its founding in the 1950s. This is when the co-founders Mr. Pellegrino and Mr. Sciarrino decided to create stone care products. You see, these two were involved in the manufacturing, installation, and restoration of stone surfaces, and they had problems finding products that took care of granite and other stone surfaces, so they decided to create it themselves.

Over the years, Granite Gold has continued to make high-quality products that did an excellent job of cleaning and maintaining granite, and this is one of their premier products. Although we didn’t find that this product polished granite very well because we had to use a separate polish after using it to clean, but we did find that it did an amazing job cleaning. This product was able to remove watermarks, stains, and smudges quickly and efficiently. And it cleaned without leaving smudges or streaks. Another thing we’d like to mention about this product was that it didn’t have a terrible chemical scent like so many cleaners. Instead, it had a citrus scent that we found quite pleasant.

Unlike some other granite cleaners that we’d rather not mention here, this product is made without phosphates or ammonia. That makes it a non-acidic and non-toxic cleaner that’s safe for daily use on granite counters. It also makes it a biodegradable formula that’s been properly pH-balanced to account for the needs of granite and other natural stones. And speaking of natural stones, this product can not only be used on granite but can be used on a wide variety of natural stone surfaces. It’s been used to great effect on marble, quartz, and travertine as well. It’s even been used and porcelain and ceramic tile surfaces and have been found to do a great cleaning job.

PROS:

  • Cleans granite extremely well.
  • It’s the best value among granite cleaners.
CONS:

  • Doesn’t work well as a polish.

Hope’s Perfect 100% Streak-Free Granite & Marble Cleaner

 Also Consider 

Hope’s Cleaner is probably the most inexpensive product on this list, so, understandably, many people will think that it’s probably an inferior product—an assertion that we would strongly have to disagree with. While this product didn’t polish the surfaces it cleaned, and we had to use a separate polish for that purpose, we found that it did a good job of cleaning granite. We found that this product had a nice smell, was easy to spray and left a streak-free surface. We also found that it was capable of removing a variety of messes from granite counters, including not only watermarks and smudges, but also grime and grease as well.

Probably the best thing about this product, however, is how it’s formulated. Unlike some other granite cleaners that use harmful formulations that are either too acidic or too alkaline, this cleaner is pH-balanced. That means that it’s capable of removing stains and messes from the granite, but do it without removing the granite’s seal. We found that it also did a great job on not only granite but on marble and other natural stone surfaces. That means that it could easily be used for not only counters but also bar counters, bathroom tile, and kitchen backsplashes.

When we factor all of these things together, we conclude that this product might not be the best overall granite cleaner, but it is most certainly the best bargain-priced cleaner. We’re quite sure that anyone who is looking to take care of their natural stone surfaces and remain on a budget, is going to want to try this product out. We know that we found it to be quite a competent cleaning product that we would use again without question.

PROS:

  • It’s pH-balanced, so it won’t remove the granite’s sealant.
  • Does a good job cleaning.
CONS:

  • It doesn’t polish the granite’s surface.

A Guide To Maintaining Granite Counters

The whole point of use reviewing the best granite cleaners is to give our readers the tools they need to maintain their granite counters. Although some DIY guides make it seem like maintaining is easy or fool-proof, the truth is that if granite isn’t properly maintained it can stain. Therefore, consumers need to do everything in their power to maintain their granite counters. To help our readers achieve that aim, we decided to write this guide on the subject. A guide that will help all of our readers achieve their aim of maintaining a perfect granite counter.

Choosing The Best Granite Cleaner

Let’s face facts, there are a lot of different granite care products available, and each of them is designed to work in a particular way. There are polishes and sealants, all-in-one granite cleaners and day-to-day cleaners. For this guide, however, we’re going to keep it simple. We’re only going to talk about the two products that are the easiest for consumers to use effectively, and those two products are all-in-one and day-to-day granite cleaners. Let’s examine each of these in a little bit more detail.

All-In-One Granite Cleaners

These products are designed to not only clean the granite’s surface but are also designed to polish and seal them at the same time. Although we like the idea, in theory, we found that in actual practice that these products didn’t work as well as they advertised they did. We found that many of these products didn’t clean well, while others left a cloudy residue on the surface. In our opinion, consumers are better off setting this product aside and choosing a day-to-day cleaner.

Day-To-Day Granite Cleaners

These products are designed to provide the user with the cleaning power they need, but do it in a way that isn’t too harsh. These formulas are usually pH balanced so that they can strip away dirt and grime but do it without stripping away the protective sealant found on the counter. Some of these products are only designed to clean, while others are designed to clean and polish.

Taking Care Of Natural Stone Surfaces

The next thing that we want to discuss with our readers is how to use granite cleaners to get their natural stone surfaces nice and clean. You’ll notice that we said natural stone surfaces and not just granite. That’s because we feel that granite cleaners aren’t just suitable for granite but can be used on a variety of different surfaces if the consumer uses them properly. Having said that, let’s find out some of the more common ways that granite cleaners can be used to clean stone surfaces.

Cleaning Natural Stone Backsplashes

The first thing that we would like to examine is cleaning natural stone backsplashes. Although some people spend a considerable amount of time cleaning their counters, they often neglect their backsplashes and that’s probably the worst thing that they can do. That’s because grease is not only corrosive and staining by itself, but it also traps moisture that can pit the stone’s surface. Therefore, the backsplash should be cleaned as often as the counters are—daily, if possible. This surface can be cleaned using the same technique as stone counters, and the technique can be found below.

Cleaning Stone Counters

Regardless of whether the counter is granite or marble, it needs to be cleaned regularly to ensure that it not only stays clean but doesn’t stain or pit. And cleaning counters isn’t very difficult. All the consumer has to do is follow the below directions and they’ll keep their counter not only looking great but will also keep it in good condition for many years to come.

Items Needed:

  • The best granite cleaner available
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Paper towel

How To Clean Stone Surfaces

  • Use a paper towel to remove crumbs from the surface.
  • Spray the counter with granite cleaner evenly and thoroughly.
  • Moisten the cleaning cloth and wipe down the entire surface.
  • Allow the product to sit for a few seconds before proceeding.
  • Now use the microfiber cloth to dry off the surface.

Cleaning Granite Tombstones

Okay, it might seem a bit jarring to switch from kitchen surfaces and head towards tombstones, but the fact of the matter is that many headstones are made out of granite. And since they’re made out of granite, they need to be properly cared for to keep them looking their best. Below are some tips for maintaining granite tombstones so they always look their best.

Items Needed:

  • Masking tape (for covering ceramic photos or bronze fixtures)
  • Newspaper (for protecting the grass)
  • Nylon fiber brush
  • Spray bottle of plain water
  • Spray bottle of granite cleaner
  • Microfiber towel

How To Clean Granite Headstones

  • Cover bronze fixtures and ceramic photographs with masking tape to avoid getting cleaner on them.
  • Lay down newspaper to prevent the cleaner from getting on it.
  • Spray down the granite headstone with granite cleaner, making sure to cover the entire stone.
  • Allow the cleaner to sit approximately 20 to 30-minutes, or according to the product’s instructions.
  • After the allotted time has expired, use the spray bottle of water to spray down the headstone.
  • Use the microfiber cloth to remove the water and polish the stone’s surface.
  • Remove the masking tape and remove the newspaper.

Additional Granite Cleaning Tips

Having just laid down some of the ways that granite cleaner can be used for keeping natural stone surfaces looking good, we’ve decided to go ahead and end this article by listing some of the things that consumers should keep in mind when caring for their granite. Let’s call this a list of precautions that consumers should consider before they even begin cleaning their stone surfaces.

General Granite Precautions:

  • Never use bleach, ammonia, lemon juice, vinegar or other acids on granite.
  • Never use a stainless-steel brush or scrub pad on the surface.
  • For heavy granite surfaces, such as headstones, only nylon brushes should be used.
  • For kitchen granite, the consumer should never use anything other than cloth for cleaning.
  • Always follow the granite cleaner’s instructions and recommendations.
  • Be sure to test an inconspicuous spot on the counter before using any new cleaner.

Best Spatulas in 2020 – Reviews

The baking enthusiast will know how important a spatula can be to mixing and serving whilst anyone who has ever tried to scrape a burger off a grill without a spatula will know how much of a struggle food prep can be without one. What might surprise some people is that there are different types of spatulas for different purposes.

Whatever type you’re looking for, it can be hard to find a quality one that will last a long time, which is why we have created our list of the best spatulas on the market. Each one has a quality build, a great reputation and will flip a pancake or omelet with ease.

Quick Summary of Spatulas

 Editor’s Choice 
Winco FST-6, Medium, Stainless Steel, Brown
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 Best For Eggs And Pancakes 
Di Oro Chef Series Standard Flexible Silicone Turner Spatula
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 Best For Strength 
Victorinox 40415 Turner Slotted Wood 3×6
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 Best Affordable 
GIR: Get It Right Premium Silicone Spatula Turner
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 Best Value 
OXO Good Grips Brushed Stainless Steel Turner
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 Best For Scraping 
Rubbermaid Commercial Products High Heat Silicone Spatula
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Winco FST-6, Medium, Stainless Steel, Brown

 Editor’s Choice 

Ok, so it is marketed towards grilling and the edged end certainly makes creating indents and cutting at the grill easier but this is the sort of spatula that can be used for any purpose. The edge also makes it great for scooping and flipping pancakes so it can be used both in and outdoors.

A lot of people rate it highly which makes it one of the best performing and best value spatulas on the market since you can pick one up for less than $10. The smooth wooden handle feels comfortable to hold and the spatula as a whole has a nice weight to it. The spatula blade has a length of 6.5 inches so it is great for flipping just about any type of food with ease.

PROS:

  • Great value
  • Edged end for cutting
  • Quality build
  • Blade of 6.5 inches
CONS:

Di Oro Chef Series Standard Flexible Silicone Turner Spatula

 Best For Eggs And Pancakes 

The flexible silicone head of this quality spatula is BPA-free and allows you to get under your omelet without it breaking thanks to the thin edge. Another benefit of the head is that it wipes clean so if a bit of egg gets stuck, it isn’t going to require intense scrubbing.

The core is made from stainless steel so adds a layer of strength to the design and it is capable of withstanding heat of up to 600°F. The handle has a matte texture which makes it grippy, as well as a thumb indeed to make it easy to grip adding to the comfort and it even has a hanging hole at the top so you can store it. To top it all off, this impressive spatula comes with a forever warranty.

PROS:

  • BPA-free materials
  • Non-slip spatula
  • Gets under eggs and pancakes with ease
  • Easy to clean
CONS:

  • Need to keep the handle away from the pan

Victorinox 40415 Turner Slotted Wood 3×6

 Best For Strength 

Marketed as a fish turner this product is one of the sturdiest we found which is no surprise when you see it is made by Victorinox. The head is large, giving you plenty of scope for turning larges pieces of fish of burgers on the grill and the handle is wooden with a comfortable feel.

The slotted design allows grease to drip when turning meaning it won’t scoop it. The head is made from high carbon stainless steel so you know the quality is there and it is sturdy enough to hold a large steak with no bending. A lot of professionals use this product and although it might not last for several years of constant use in a restaurant kitchen, it is the sort of product that will be in the kitchen drawers of most homes for a long time.

PROS:

  • High carbon stainless steel head
  • Slotted design allows for drainage
  • Comfortable handle
CONS:

  • Handle can get a bit loose

GIR: Get It Right Premium Silicone Spatula Turner

 Best Affordable 

Not only is this quality spatula heat resistant for up to 550°F but it has an incredibly thin edge to make it ideal for scooping under delicate food. The solid head means nothing will slip through the middle which also makes it easy to clean and hygienic as there is no debris left behind.

It is great for using with non-scratch proof cookware as the materials ensure it doesn’t leave its mark and it contains a fiberglass core that ensures it doesn’t get too hot to handle. This is no cheaply made plastic spatula which is reflected in their lifetime guarantee, they stand by the quality of the product. BPA-free it is made to last and comes in a variety of sizes so you can get it right.

PROS:

  • Easy to clean
  • Fiberglass core means it won’t get too hot
  • Comes with a lifetime guarantee
CONS:

  • Small so better for pancakes and eggs

OXO Good Grips Brushed Stainless Steel Turner

 Best Value 

On first impressions, this spatula might look simple but it is sturdily made and will last a long time. The brushed stainless steel means it can lean on hot cookware without melting but with a non-slip grip underneath on the handle, it is a comfortable product to use day in day out.

Although it has a slotted design, cleaning it is easy as it is dishwasher safe and with a hole in the top it can be stored easily. When you hold it this spatula certainly has the feel of a product that is almost impossible to break so expect it to be flipping your burgers and pancakes for years.

PROS:

  • Sturdily built
  • Non-slip handle
  • Dishwasher safe
CONS:

  • Might be too big for smaller hands

Rubbermaid Commercial Products High Heat Silicone Spatula

 Best For Scraping 

A lot of customers comment on the heat resistance of this silicone spatula and it is a favorite among baking enthusiasts thanks to its scraping ability but is also great for cooking. The blade is resistant to stains and because of its smooth materials, it will not scratch your cookware.

The handle is cool to touch at all times and the product is heat resistant up to 500°F. It is food safety approved and fine to go in the dishwasher so you can always clean it with ease. The blade features a notched end to use on scraping the sides of pans without the risk of scratching them and has a clean rest capability which keeps it off the kitchen top to prevent cross-contamination. A well thought out and sturdy spatula.

PROS:

  • Blade is resistant to stains
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Notched end on the head scrapes the sides of pans without scratching
CONS:

  • Head is not as big as some might like

Spatula Buyer’s Guide

It might seem like a simple kitchen utensil but up until now, you have probably been buying products that aren’t known for their longevity. This is why it is important to know what to expect from a quality spatula as the benefits can ensure it lasts a long time and makes flipping pancakes and eggs simple.

There are different types of spatulas so things can get confusing but we have created the following guide to help you find a product that is right for your needs and will last for many pancake mornings.

What To Look For In A Spatula

Heat Resistance

Most metal spatulas will be fine to use around a hot pan or grill, just be mindful if you leave it in the heat for a while when picking it back up. For plastic and silicone-based spatulas, be sure that it has enough heat resistance so it doesn’t melt as you use it to scoop or stir.

BPA Free Materials

With so many silicone spatulas on the market, you need to make sure it is made from food-grade materials that are BPA-free. Because it will come into contact with food, this is imperative.

Sturdy Head

If you’re lifting a six stack of pancakes you need to know that your spatula isn’t going to wilt and drop the contents on the floor. The better products will have enough give you make them flexible but be strong enough to carry the food you need it to.

Sharp Edge

Anyone who wants to get under a burger that is stuck to the grill or an omelet that needs to be turned urgently will appreciate a sharp edge. This allows the spatula to get underneath without having to keep readjusting.

Quality Materials

For heavy-duty use such as lifting and flipping burgers on a grill, you will likely want a metal fish spatula that has a strong handle and stainless steel head. Anyone wanting to flip an omelet or a pancake might prefer a silicone spatula because it will not scratch the pan.

Although you want your spatula to be made from sturdy materials you still need to be sure that they are well suited to your pans. A stainless steel head might be great for using on the grill but they can scratch pans if used robustly.

A Reputable Brand

This is important when it comes to cooking as you want a genuine product that is made from safe materials. This is more likely to be the case when you use a product from a reputable brand and they also tend to give a money-back guarantee or something to protect your purchase.

Dishwasher Safe

This isn’t always a deal-breaker but it can be important for keeping your spatula bacteria-free and clean. Certain products clean up better than others after a wash and check that it is suitable to wash this way before you put it in your dishwasher.

Head Size

Depending on what you are using it for, a spatulas head is an important consideration. Anyone looking to flip an omelet will need something with a wide enough head to accommodate the width without causing it to break in half.

Different Types of Spatula

Although there are several types of spatula that you can split into different categories, here are the main ones:

Metal Fish Spatula – Despite the name, these can be used for a variety of foods and are popular at the BBQ grill. Because of the sharp edge, it can scoop food that is stuck to the grill or pan and has a slotted head to allow drips to fall. This is also what helps to keep the food from sliding off the head and expect a sturdy handle so it can hold heavier items.

Silicone Coated Spatula – Sometimes these are made of plastic but the better ones favor silicon because it is heat resistant. They are handy because they do not scratch cookware, ideal if you don’t have nonstick pans. Also available in high-heat versions and good for baking as you can scrape the sides of a cake mix with ease.

Metal Turner – Popular for using with meats because they can push burgers down with a strong head to ensure everything is cooked well and for lifting stubborn foods from an oven tray.

Offset Spatula – A specialist, long and thin spatula that is a handy utensil for baking as it is used to evenly spread frosting over a cake.

Different Materials Used For Spatulas

We’ve discussed the main types now it’s time for a closer look at the common materials used in spatulas.

Metal – Although they are heavier, this adds to their durability and you will find it a hard task to break a decent metal spatula. Typically used around the grill they are perfect for frying or grilling fish, meat, and vegetables.

Silicone – These are becoming more and more popular as they are made to resist heat at high temperatures and are good for avoiding scratches on your pans. Some silicone spatulas are great for scraping mixtures when cooking and do not stain easily.

Plastic – As with many plastic products, these spatulas are more affordable but you do have to compromise on quality. They tend to melt when exposed to high temperatures and can peel at the tip before too long.

Wood – Good for use with non-stick pans because much like silicone, they do not scratch surfaces. They are fine with the heat but tend to stain and spoil and need a thorough clean to keep them hygienic.

Conclusion

There is no need for you to use a cheap, poorly made spatula, especially since there are some great affordable options available. Any of the above will be an excellent addition to your meal prep and will be sure to flip pancakes and burgers for a long time.

When you feel the sturdiness of a well-built product, you’ll never want to go back to a flimsy product that makes cooking awkward. Go for something that deserves to be in your kitchen.

Best Propane Smokers in 2020 – Reviews

A propane smoker takes your food prep to the next level and has a wide range of uses. It can add a subtle smokey flavor to your steaks, corn, chicken, vegetables, and several other foods in a convenient way.

A lot of people see them and assume they are going to be expensive but this is far from the truth. The market has grown so that even the best propane smokers are very affordable. One way of making sure you end up with a quality product is by doing your research which is why we created the buyer’s guide but if you can’t wait to see which are the better products on the market, we have created a list of the propane smokers that are worth considering.

Quick Summary of Propane Smokers

 Editor’s Choice 
Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36
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 Best For Beginners 
Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24
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 Best Portable 
Masterbuilt MB20050116 MPS 20B Patio-2-Portable Propane Smoker
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 Beat Large Capacity 
Masterbuilt MB20051316 Mps 340g XL Propane Smoker
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 Most Versatile 
Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP 36
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 Best Warranty 
Landmann USA 3895GWLA Smoky Mountain Vertical Gas Smoker
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Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36

 Editor’s Choice 

With a mix of space and value, this is the best propane smoker available. It offers 5.45 sq ft of space inside the 4 shelves that give you plenty of room to smoke meats and vegetables. Made from stainless steel, the racks are great for smoking a whole chicken and with a built-in thermometer and easy to use control system it is one of the easiest smokers to get to grips with.

You can adjust the gas and there is even a rear vent on top of the two doors so you can control the amount of smoke that exits the oven although it holds the temperature well. When shut, the smoker is tightly sealed and stays that way because of the twist handle. To top it all off there is also a porcelain enamel steel tray to make clean up easy because it holds the wood and water in one convenient place.

PROS:

  • Lots of space inside
  • 4 shelves and stainless steel racks
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Easy to access doors
CONS:

Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24

 Best For Beginners 

This compact smoke vault is one of the more convenient propane smokers on our list and is ideal for anyone looking to save space. There are only two cooking grids but you also get a jerky rack so you can smoke some of your own. It reaches temperatures of between 160 – 350 F which is one of the more impressive ranges, especially considering the size.

Because of this, you can slow cook food to make them extra tender – some people even use them to bake pies. You get a porcelain tray that keeps everything nice and tidy inside and is easy to remove and clean. With a snap ignition, it is easy to get this smoker going, especially since it heats up fast.

PROS:

  • Includes cooking tips and ideas
  • Great for slow cooking at low temperatures
  • Jerky rack
  • Compact and great for beginners
CONS:

  • Not as much space as other brands

Masterbuilt MB20050116 MPS 20B Patio-2-Portable Propane Smoker

 Best Portable 

A quality compact propane smoker that is easy to take from place to place. Even if you’re not hosting, your friends and family can enjoy the benefits of this quality product. Because it is compact you do have to compromise when it comes to space as you only get 2 racks with this propane smoker but with a built-in temperature gauge that is one of the more reliable and a one-touch ignition you can get this unit smoking in no time.

The 5,000 BTU output is surprising for something of this size and it is plenty enough to smoke a couple of full birds and some ribs. It has foldable legs and is only 22 lbs spice it up and take it to your neighbors.

PROS:

  • Compact and easily portable
  • One-touch ignition
  • Reputable brand
CONS:

  • Small water tray included

Masterbuilt MB20051316 Mps 340g XL Propane Smoker

 Beat Large Capacity 

This is one of the bigger propane smokers on our list so don’t expect to be able to move it around easily. Still, this gives you a large capacity – a huge 2,000 sq inches of cooking space so you’d better start calling your friends to arrange a get-together. Set up is pretty easy and the instructions are simple and with a fuel gauge to tell you how much propane you have left they have tried to make things as convenient as possible.

When it comes to safety this is one of the better smokers because it comes with an auto shut off feature so if the flame is extinguished, the burner shuts off. It burns at a consistent heat thanks to the temperature sensor and with four smoking racks, there is loads of room for trays of ribs, full birds, and a whole lot else.

PROS:

  • Large 2,000 square inch cooking space
  • Safety shut off feature
CONS:

  • Woodchip tray is on the small side

Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP 36

 Most Versatile 

With an impressive 784 square inches of cooking space, this is great for entertaining and smoking large quantities at a time. It only takes one touch to ignite this 15,000 BTU unit made from cast iron and with a large dial control you’ll easily be able to change the level of smoke to match your taste. The double door allows you to access different sections so the tip or bottom always has enough wood chips and water.

It doesn’t allow too much smoke to leave the smoker when you’re checking the progress of a full bird or a row of steaks thanks to the air dampers that allow to you stay in control the whole time. It comes with a 1-year warranty which is good to see but we do like to get a little more if possible but the build quality feels sturdy enough that you won’t encounter any problems for some time.

PROS:

  • Large 784 sq inches of cooking space
  • Double door access
  • Great authentic smokey taste
CONS:

  • The door thermometer can be inaccurate

Landmann USA 3895GWLA Smoky Mountain Vertical Gas Smoker

 Best Warranty 

Often praised for its durability this is an easy to control propane smoker and features over 1,500 square inches of smoking space so expect to be able to get multiple birds and trays of meat in there with room to spare. There are two doors where you can top up the water or wood so it is one of the more versatile products available.

The square legs are wide and give the unit its sturdiness and it comes with 5 grates and meat hangers so you can cook a wide range of meats. Also worth noting is their 10-year warranty as it is more generous than most.

PROS:

  • Large 1,500 square inches of cooking space
  • Durable feel
  • Includes 10-year warranty
CONS:

  • Door can be a little awkward to close

Propane Smoker Guide

There is no better way to replicate a smokey taste in your veg or meat when entertaining than a propane smoker. They offer anyone the chance to replicate that enticing taste of food festivals so when you buy your first, expect a few phone calls from friends wanting to come and sample its produce.

The best way of making sure the party isn’t a let down is by researching what a quality propane smoker should be capable of. That way, when it comes to purchasing you know how to make a good decision. The following buyer’s guide is designed to help.

What To Look For In A Propane Smoker

Two Doors

There are a few different types of propane smokers but for the added convenience we like the two-door versions. These make it easy for you to access the water and wood without having to open the door to the food. Because of this, it maintains the high temperature and nothing escapes just because you need to top up the woodchips.

Capacity

This is down to how often you think you will use the propane smoker and who is using it. If you are the social type who likes to host a lot of people on the weekend then a smoker with a cooking space of over 1,500 square inches is going to give you lots of room to play with.

On the other hand, anyone who only wants to smoke food for those under their roof will find a compact propane smoker to be big enough for their needs.

Budget

If your budget doesn’t stretch as far as the price of some of the larger models, the good news is you still have plenty of options. You can pick up a compact propane smoker for half the price of the full-size products and they are often just as good at giving your food that smooth smokey flavor but without the same capacity.

Simple Temperature Control

You might have to play around with the temperature control to find the one that smokes your food the way you like it but as long as the controls are easy to understand you shouldn’t have any issues.

Warranty

Unfortunately, it isn’t easy finding a propane smoker manufacturer that gives you more than a one or two year warranty. Because they aren’t immune to breaking down you’ll want to give yourself a safety net of sorts even if it is hard to come by.

Safety

Because you’re playing with propane here you want to try and find a product that has an auto switch-off feature if the flame goes out. This is less common than you might hope to see but there are products out there that have this capability.

One-Touch Ignition

This is one of the benefits of buying a propane smoker and although not all of them have this feature, the ones that do make it easy to get the heat going and the smoke swirling.

Easy To Clean

This is all down to the type of tray at the base and the dish you use to smoke the wood as if it is too small it will make the whole clean up process difficult. If the tray is removable then you should find it easy to keep your propane smoker in good condition.

Reliable Thermometer

One of the issues a lot of propane smokers have is the accuracy of the thermometer. Especially those on the door which can make it difficult to get the perfect taste inside. Some brands are known for their accuracy so check the specs of the product you like before you buy.

Why Buy A Propane Smoker?

This is the question on a lot of people’s lips because before you’ve tasted food cooked in a propane smoker you might need to convince yourself that the benefits outweigh any negatives, here are a few pointers that might help you see what many others do.

Convenience

Compared to other types of smokers a propane smoker is good for anyone who wants to set it up and leave it. With a one-touch ignition, you can get it going in no time so compared to a charcoal smoker, this is going to save you a lot of time. It is also a lot easier to control the temperature than other types that can fluctuate which results in having to wait a long time for the food to be ready to eat.

Portability

With an electric smoker, you are at the mercy of the length of the power cord. A big plus point to a propane smoker is that there are no restrictions as to where you can take it – as long as the place you get it going is within the law. Those with a large garden or a camping trip in mind can find a propane smoker ideal for their needs.

Flavor

The smokiness of a propane unit is going to be far superior to an electric smoker although it won’t be able to emulate the taste of a wooden or charcoal smoker, it’s not far off.

Top Tips When Buying A Propane Smoker

There are a few things you can do to make sure you get the most out of your propane smoker, here are some of the best:

Replace The Stock Pan

Most propane smokers tend to come with a handful of accessories but one of the least functional is often the wood tray. This is a way for the companies to shave a few dollars off their costs as most of the time an upgrade can lead to much more smoke.

Buy A Second Tank

It is unlikely that your purchase comes with a tank anyway so when you go to buy your first it is always a good idea to buy two. This way when you run out during the smoking process, you aren’t caught short.

Buy A New Thermometer

There are products that are specifically designed to give your propane smoker an accurate reading. Because the built-in thermometers are often unreliable, this is the best way to get an accurate reading.

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