Category: Kitchen gadgets

Induction, ceramic or gas – which hob is best for you?


Nowadays even kitchen hobs have a variety of brands and functions to choose from, but sometimes too many options make it even more difficult to make decision.

If you are looking for a new hob for your kitchen, and want to know which cooker is best for you, the information below may help.

Gas hobs
They may be old-fashioned, but they are still very popular for a number of reasons – the heat source is visible, easy to control and is relatively cheaper to use than electricity.

Gas hobs come with knobs either on the front or on the side of the hob. Hobs with knobs on the front are easier to use for left-handers, as the knobs of hobs with side control are usually located on the right. This type of hobs are also friendly to those with special needs, such as wheelchair users. Hobs with side control are relatively safer if you have toddlers at home, as the knobs are out of their reach.

Tips to choosing a gas hob: choose one that comes with a gas safety valve, which will automatically cut off the gas supply if the flame goes out.

Ceramic hobs
They certainly look modern and stylish! Their surface is scratch resistance, and can be easily wiped clean. Spills should be wiped as soon as the hob has cooled so that they don’t harden on the glass top, but sugary spills need to be cleaned up immediately before they get baked and become difficult to remove. The main disadvantage is that they are slower to heat up and cool down.

If you want to use ceramic hobs, then all your pans and pots must have perfectly flat bottom to ensure maximum contact with the heat source. You won’t be able to cook with a wok on a ceramic hob, unless you go for additional wok feature.


Tips to choosing a ceramic hob
: Consider one with child lock safety features and will cut off the power to prevent overheating.

Induction hobs
This one is safer than gas or electric hobs because there is no flame or hot elements. The hob will only generate heat when it comes into contact with the steel or cast iron pot. As soon as the pot is removed, heat generation stops. The hob is not hot to touch, only on the areas where the pot has just been removed. This makes the hob easy to clean because food spillage does not get burnt like it would on ceramic hob.

However, when you use an induction hob, your pots and pans must be made of steel or cast iron, and have flat bottom. This type of hobs do not work with aluminium or Pyrex utensils.

Other than looking at the features, advantages and disadvantages of each type of hob, may be you also want to take into consideration issues like – do you cook often, do you cook for many people or just yourself, is there anyone else at home that cooks too – before you make your final decision. :)

Which whisk do you have?


As an ordinary housewife, I have only two whisks in my kitchen drawer – they look similar, just like twins, except that one is bigger than the other. Now I know that one of them is actually a balloon whisk, and the smaller one is an egg whisk. I hardly use them though. I bought them because I thought I will be doing a lot of baking in the kitchen, hehe. Well, I don’t bake often, and I simply just use a fork to beat up eggs for omelette.

But, let’s say, you are aspired to be a sophisticated housewife who should have a well-equipped kitchen and armed with chef-standard culinary skills, then you must know that there are at least 8 types of whisk that you can use, each with their own purpose.

Balloon whisk

balloonwhisk

This is like the wonder whisk that every household should have. The shape of balloon whisk works to increase the area that comes into contact with the mixture during the whisking process. Its wires are slightly flexible than the egg whisk. You can use it to aerate egg whites or to thicken cream.

Tips:  The more wires the whisk has, the faster it will whisk up a mixture.

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Egg whisk

eggwhisk

Looks similar to balloon whisk, except that it is smaller, more elongated in shape, and more rigid than the former. But its wires can cut through protein strands in eggs better to help prevent coagulation and curdling.

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Jug whisk

jugwhisk

As it name implies, it is used to whisk in glasses, jugs and cocktail shakers due to its tall and slim shape.

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Flat whisk

flatwhisk

A great whisk to work on small amounts of mixture, such as a single egg yolk, or when stirring delicate herbs into cream.

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Twirl whisk

twirlwhisk

The whisk is made from a piece of coiled wire that gives is flexibility. Normally used to whisk mixture in slim containers.

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Spiral whisk

spiralwhisk

The coil is made from fine, springy wire looped around a circular wire frame. Use it to whisk in shallow pan, especially when there is a small amount of mixture to whisk. Great for ‘sweeping in’ the mixture from around the edge of a mixing bowl.

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Saucepan whisk

saucepanwhisk

When you flatten the spokes of a balloon whisk, that’s what you get – saucepan whisk. The flat base allows it to reach into the corners of a saucepan, so that the sauce is evenly mixed. DO NOT use in non-stick pans.

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Ball-ended whisk

ballendedwhisk

Spokes end with a metal ball, used to whisk hot milk to a nice, smooth froth, or to emulsify oils into liquids, or to smooth out lumps in batter. Also NOT SUITABLE for use on on non-stick pans.

So, which one would you choose – to be a sophisticated housewife, or just  stick to one whisk for all?

Need a sandwich toaster for tastier breakfast


I eat bread every morning. Bread with peanut spread, bread with peanut spread, and bread with peanut spread. 😛

If you ask me whether I am getting bored eating bread every day? Of course I do! But what to do, that’s the fastest, easiest and cheapest breakfast one can have these days! 😛

I know, plain white bread with peanut spread every day doesn’t sound healthy, but it can be a nutrition-rich breakfast if you add some greens and protein source to it. And the bread can be tasty if it is toasted.

Problem is – I don’t have a bread toaster!

And I don’t want any conventional pop-up toaster. I want a sandwich toaster or sandwich maker, that can also make waffles and panini-style grilled sandwiches. Just like this electric sandwich griller and toaster from Cuisinart.

Cuisinart Sandwich Grill
Cuisinart sandwich grill sandwich maker
Cuisinart sandwich grill sandwich maker

Although I don’t have a sandwich maker or toaster currently, I have already read up tips on how to use and clean one, hehe. For example:

If you are using the sandwich maker for the first time, you need to season it first. What do you mean by ‘seasoning’ the toaster? Well, it simply means that wiping the plate first, followed by brushing some oil onto the plate. Then, heat the sandwich toaster with the lid open for about 5 minutes. After the toaster has cooled down, use paper towels to wipe off the excess oil. One thing to remember: Do Not use low-fat spreads because they may burn and damage the non-stick surface of the toasting plates.

As for cleaning the sandwich toaster, the most important tip is to clean it after every use in order to maintain it in good working condition. After the sandwich toaster is removed from the power supply, allow it to cool. Then wipe the toasting plates with a damp cloth (you can use soapy water if necessary) and dry thoroughly. However, do not use abrasive cleaners, which can damage the non-stick coating. You may want to clean the toaster while it is still hot (but not burning hot!), it just makes the cleaning easier.

Looks like I’m all ready to use a sandwich toaster, but for now this item can only be part of my wish list…