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Best Air Fryer for Healthier Food

We love air fryers so much, we had to give you an updated review with even more unique features!

Everyone knows what they have to do to eat healthier. It’s the same methods: cut out fat, sugar, and starch. There are so many alternatives to both sugar and starch, but what holds so many people (including myself) back is that no one wants to give up their fried, crunchy foods. Even if we know exactly how unhealthy deep fried french fries and chicken are, there’s just something about that crunch that gets your mouth watering just thinking about it. Since I cook for my family, I wanted to find an alternative that would let us enjoy our favorite foods without all of the consequences. Enter the best air fryer.

It’s hard to give all of those tasty foods up. But now, thanks to air fryers, we can continue to enjoy our crunchy chicken and fries without the excess oils and fats (and you can too).

The best air fryer will work by cooking your food with consistently hot or pulsing air and with little to no oil. So, if you’re ready to eat healthier without having to sacrifice what you love, but don’t feel like searching for hours to find the right one, I’m here to help. I’ve researched what’s the best air fryer on the market today so you can have deliciously healthy food!

Best Air Fryer Top Pick: [amazon_textlink asin=’B01K1QQ2QI’ text=’Secura Electric Hot Air Fryer’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7c7fc117-f9c9-11e8-822f-5b24756e730a’]

Best air fryer

Secura is one of the largest small appliance manufacturers in North America. They’ve sold well over 8 million high quality, environmentally friendly products in the USA. So it’s no surprise that such a high quality, durable unit such as the [amazon_textlink asin=’B01K1QQ2QI’ text=’Secura Electric Hot Air Fryer’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’836691fc-f9c9-11e8-8518-5953603cd9ff’] is the best air fryer for consumers and businesses alike to purchase.

Functionality

The Secura Electric Hot Air Fryer basket has a 4.2 quarts capacity, which means it can feed at least a family of four comfortably. It’s a versatile unit that can fry, grill, roast, bake, and reheat your food through the use of Rapid Air technology. Without excessive fat from submerging your food in grease, you can add an oil of your choice on your ingredients before placing them in the air fryer. Though not required, it’ll give your food a crunchy layer.

Shake it halfway so that your food cooks evenly. The denser the food, such as homemade potatoes, the more shaking is required for a more balanced finish.

Design

The [amazon_textlink asin=’B01K1QQ2QI’ text=’Secura’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’938acd21-f9c9-11e8-af71-513ed25e2b3a’] is a smooth black air fryer that blends in well with your other kitchen appliances. It also has a smudge-resistant exterior which makes for easier cleaning. It weighs 10.3 pounds and its dimensional size is 14.8 x 12.4 x 13.1 inches.

Controls

Both the timer and temperature settings use dials. The timer goes up to 60 minutes. Once it reaches 0, it’ll automatically shut down. You also have the option to manually shut it down by turning the dial to zero if your food finished cooking before the timer went off.

The temperature is between 180° and 390°. To protect itself, it comes with a built-in overheating protection. If the sensory notices that the inner temperature is dangerously high, it’ll automatically shut itself down.

You can also preheat the Secura Electric Hot Air Fryer by selecting your desired time to cook then adding 3 extra minutes because that’s approximately how long it’ll take to preheat. The heating-up light will turn off when it’s done preheating.

Accessories

The [amazon_textlink asin=’B01K1QQ2QI’ text=’Secura’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a05c3489-f9c9-11e8-bb0d-2fafbcb75137′] comes with four skewers, a grill rack, and recipes. So, if you love a good shish kebab in the winter, but don’t feel like pulling out the grill in the frigid cold, then this definitely is a plus. You can even grill steak with it, just use the recipe book to see how to go about cooking it.

Warranty

The Secura Electric Hot Air Fryer comes with a 2-year limited warranty when purchased from the manufacturer or an authorized seller. Most manufacturers only offer a one year warranty. That’s why this warranty is one of the best because it offers you longer protection and peace of mind.

Flaws but not dealbreakers of the best air fryer

  • It’s a little noisy. Like any appliance that has a compressor and exhaust, it will make some noise. But it’s not loud at all, it just sounds like a low running fan.
  • It’s big. Although it can hold 4.2 quarts of food at a time, the entire air fryer’s dimensions are 14.8 x 12.4 x 13.1 inches. Depending on how much counter space you have, it may or may not fit comfortably enough for you. So, before you buy it check to make sure that it can fit in your desired locations by taking its measurements. But if it doesn’t fit, you can always place it anywhere that it’ll have access to a power cord.
  • Timer knob can be difficult to turn. The timer knob is round and smooth, so if your hands aren’t dry, it’ll be hard for you to turn it. It’s similar to trying to open a can top, you need grip. So, before you use it, make sure that your hands are dry or have a towel nearby so that you can use that to turn the knob.

[amazon_link asins=’B01K1QQ2QI’ template=’Custom’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ text=” link_id=’237edf1f-ff25-11e8-92f1-03e4a39d1664′]

Best Air Fryer Runner-Up: [amazon_textlink asin=’B00TR78QUI’ text=’Philips XL HD9240′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d147b47f-f9c9-11e8-87c5-cf46e6e6a31d’]

Best air fryer

Philips’ air fryers are the most popular in the world with over 5 million units sold alone! The [amazon_textlink asin=’B00TR78QUI’ text=’Philips XL HD9240′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d816ddc7-f9c9-11e8-90e3-c77a8b400fa7′] lives up to the hype with its digital analog, contemporary design, and its interior design that combines with the rapid air technology for evenly cooked food.

Functionality

The Philips XL HD9240 basket has a 3.5-quart capacity which means it can feed up to a family of four. Similar to the [amazon_textlink asin=’B01K1QQ2QI’ text=’Secura’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’abbf3e87-f9c9-11e8-af58-a315bdc6251c’], you can use this best air fryer runner-up to fry, grill, bake, roast and reheat food through Rapid Air technology. You’ll also need to shake the food halfway through so all the food is cooked evenly.

Design

The Philips XL HD9240 is an air fryer with a contemporary design that comes in the colors black and white. It weighs 18.4 lbs and its dimensional size is 16.6 x 12.4 x 11.9 inches. The unique starfish design on the bottom of the best air fryer runner-up ensures consistent air circulation from the Rapid Air technology which results in evenly cooked food.

Controls

Unlike the Secura, the timer and temperature settings are digital analogs. The timer goes up to 60 minutes and it automatically shuts down when it reaches 0. It’ll also automatically shut down if you don’t press a button in 30 minutes. Or if you didn’t set a temperature within 5 minutes of turning it on. So that makes it super convenient if you forget you turned it on

The temperature ranges from 180° to 390°. You can also preset one temperature and cooking time for the food you cook the most. For the best results, you can also preheat it for 3 minutes for a shorter cooking time.

Accessories

The [amazon_textlink asin=’B00TR78QUI’ text=’Philips’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f4fe7750-f9c9-11e8-a737-ebe61b1516b0′] comes with a free app and recipe book that contains 150 air fryer recipes. The grilling pan, rack, and skewers aren’t included in the purchase price. However, you do have the option to purchase them separately.

Warranty

The Philips XL HD9240 comes with a one-year warranty if you’re planning on purchasing and using it in the US or Canada.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

  • Difficult to clean if you don’t immediately soak it. The basket is made of mesh so if you allow the food to sit, it’ll stick to it and it’ll be harder to clean. Since you don’t want to use any abrasive cleaning supplies, it’ll be hard to clean it after a while. So as it cools down, make sure to immediately soak it in hot soapy water.
  • It can possibly get smokey. Food that’s prone to smoke such as sausages, pork chops, and anything overly greasy can cause the unit to produce white smoke. To combat this, you can place it under your stove and put on the fan so that it can blow the smoke away.
  • It doesn’t come with rack and skewer accessories. Although this unit is a versatile best air fryer runner-up that can use different accessories with it, it doesn’t come with them. You’ll definitely expect it at this price point, but it does have other nice features that make up for it. You can also purchase these accessories separately if you want.

Best Air Fryer Honorable Mention: [amazon_textlink asin=’B005GM15HE’ text=’T-fal ActiFry’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’2ec43254-f9ca-11e8-9df6-39d6bf6e3ae1′]

Best air fryer

T-fal is all about innovations. They’re always looking for ways to combine the latest technology with consumers’ expectations. They spent 10 years researching and eventually crafting the [amazon_textlink asin=’B005GM15HE’ text=’T-fal Actifry’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’34ffcf5b-f9ca-11e8-be83-354947412eaa’]. Although it’s not the absolute best air fryer on the market, find out why it’s unique feature keeps it in high demand.

Functionality

The T-fal Actifry basket has a 2.2 lb capacity which means it can definitely feed a family of three. You can use it to fry, grill, roast, or reheat your food using pulsing air technology. Unlike the [amazon_textlink asin=’B01K1QQ2QI’ text=’Secura’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b9a74589-f9c9-11e8-8af8-afbf53ccb0f4′] and [amazon_textlink asin=’B00TR78QUI’ text=’Philips’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’08228492-f9ca-11e8-8fc5-fd9b1d4a95a4′] which uses Rapid Air technology, this model periodically pumps hot air through the food. It does this while giving your food a crispy outer texture without sacrificing the inner moisture.

The most unique feature of the T-fal Actifry is that you don’t have to get up to shake it half way through because it does it by itself. It’s self-stirring paddle constantly stirs your food for you.

Design

The [amazon_textlink asin=’B005GM15HE’ text=’T-fal’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’54d7351c-f9ca-11e8-b592-218cd9874edd’] is a lightweight black air fryer that weighs 6 lbs. It’s dimensional size is 16.7 x 13.6 x 9.5 inches. Its lid doesn’t steam up so whenever you feel like checking the progress of your food.

Controls

It’s a very simple unit, so it only has two buttons: the ON/OFF and the timer. The temperature setting stays at a consistent 338°. The timer goes up to 99 minutes. Since you can only go up with the timer setting, if you mess up, just hold the button for 2 seconds and it’ll reset so you can start again.

Accessories

The T-fal Actifry comes with a measuring spoon so you use the correct amount of oil and a cookbook with recipes for you to try with it.

Warranty

The [amazon_textlink asin=’B005GM15HE’ text=’T-fal’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’676e1ec1-f9ca-11e8-b6aa-c33c0bd8d579′] has a one-year limited warranty.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

  • It doesn’t automatically turn off. When the food is finished cooking, it doesn’t automatically shut down when the timer turns off, which is inconvenient. You’ll need to be around it when it goes off so your food doesn’t overcook. Also, the timer itself may not be loud enough if you decide to relax in the living room and rely solely on the timer to tell you when your food is finished. To avoid missing the timer going off, use your kitchen or phone timer for a louder beep.
  • The highest temperature setting is 338°. Unlike other units that can go up to 400°, the [amazon_textlink asin=’B005GM15HE’ text=’T-fal’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’71e9874d-f9ca-11e8-ba6a-2dc34b595793′] can only reach 338°. This means that your food will take longer to cook. You’ll need to adjust your cooking times. If you’re entertaining guests, you’ll just have to start cooking earlier.
  • The stirring paddle can jam small food. The stirring paddle can crush small food and cause it to get jammed inside the [amazon_textlink asin=’B005GM15HE’ text=’T-fal’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7a585781-f9ca-11e8-92d1-5d816f871311′]. If too much food gets caught in the paddle, it’ll stop rotating and you’ll have to clean before it starts again.

Conclusion of the Best Air Fryer

It doesn’t matter what model you choose because they all are designed to help you eat healthier, less fatty foods without you having to sacrifice the flavors you love.

If you’re looking for the best air fryer that has the capacity to feed a family with incredible accessories and convenient features, then you need the [amazon_textlink asin=’B01K1QQ2QI’ text=’Secura Electric Hot Air Fryer’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’c0764867-f9c9-11e8-bb0b-bb48f75f5df1′].

But if you’re looking for something more modern with a contemporary style, unique design for even cooking, and a digital interface where you can preset your favorite setting, then look no further than the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00TR78QUI’ text=’Philips XL HD9240′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’0e532511-f9ca-11e8-93f6-291c9a1ce1c8′].

However, if what you really want is to relax and not worry about stirring your food at all, then you need the [amazon_textlink asin=’B005GM15HE’ text=’T-fal Actifry’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’2327a1ca-f9ca-11e8-be83-354947412eaa’].

FAQs

Q: How does an air fryer work?

Unlike deep fryers that need cups of hot grease to cook your frozen food, air fryers use consistently hot air to get your food crispy. It works by circulating the heat through and around your food. Another way to look at it is that air fryers are similar to conventional ovens.

Q: What can I cook in an air fryer?

Though it’s widely known that you can cook french fries in an air fryer, it’s definitely not the only thing you can cook in it. There are hundreds of different foods you can cook in there. Anywhere ranging from meats such as steak and beef to vegetables such as potatoes and Brussel sprouts. You can even cook pastries and cakes in them.

The only thing that sets one air fryer apart from the other is how big it is. The size of the basket can greatly differentiate if you can cook a roast or only cook a 2-pound bag of fries.

Q: What type of food can’t I cook in there?

Anything with a fresh batter isn’t recommended. It’s because the batter will fly off your food, similar to leaves flying around in high winds. It’ll cause a mess that I doubt you want to clean. So, if you’re craving buttermilk chicken tenders, you’ll need to cook them in the oven or deep fryer.

Q: What will my food taste like?

The best way to explain why your food isn’t going to taste like it just came out of a deep fryer is by explaining the science behind frying.

Foods that are deep-fried get their crispy crust from dehydration. The higher the temperature of the fat (oil) the quicker that the outer water contents of your food dehydrate. Simultaneously, the sugar and proteins in your food get broken down to create those mouthwatering flavors you love and its golden brown skin (which is known as Maillard reactions).

The crust forms as a protective barrier to ensure that the food doesn’t absorb any more oil. That’s why if you’re frying food on a low fire, it’ll be greasier than if on a medium heat. From this point, only heat is allowed through to your food’s inner content where it continues the frying process until completion.

That’s why an air fryer doesn’t produce the same crisp as a deep fryer. However, that doesn’t mean your food isn’t crispy, just not to the same degree as deep-fried food. Though you’ll have to see for yourself how it comes out because we all have different taste buds and preferences.

Q: Does it need to be preheated?

Yes, they do. It’s similar to cooking in a conventional oven. While you can place your food in there before it’s at your desired temperature, it’ll cook faster if you preheat it. However, each model is different so make sure to read your user manual to see how long you have to preheat it for.

Q: Can I use parchment paper or aluminum foil inside it?

Technically, you can. It isn’t recommended since air fryers work by producing consistently hot air so your food can cook. Parchment paper and aluminum foil can block the air from reaching and cooking your food effectively and in a timely manner. So, if you do decide to use it, make sure that it’s not hindering the air fryer from cooking your food properly.

Q: Do they really require no oil?

Some foods don’t require any oil, while others only require a tablespoon of it. However, most people choose to add a small amount of oil to their food, not the basket, for a crisper texture.

Q: How should an air fryer be cleaned?

The most important factor to extend the lifespan of an air fryer is to clean it after each use. If you don’t, it won’t last long and before you know it, you’ll be buying another one.

The first step to clean an air fryer is to unplug it and let it cool down before touching it. Once it’s cool to the touch, soak it in hot soapy water for at least 10 minutes. However, if you prefer to toss it in the dishwasher, you can after soaking it.

Then you’ll need to clean it with a non-abrasive sponge or cloth. Once you’re done cleaning the basket, set it aside and let it air dry. Then you’ll need to make sure that there’s no food inside the fryer itself. If there is, you can use a non-abrasive sponge with warm soapy water inside it too.

Each model is different so you’ll need to check the user manual for any specific directions. However, using hot or warm soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge or cloth are the basic cleaning instructions.

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A Comparison of the Best Air Fryers on Amazon

There are known concerns over the consistent consumption of fried foods. However, advancements in technology have made it possible to have fried food that doesn’t have an unhealthy influx of processed fats. This critical change is made possible by the invention of air fryers: the ideal kitchen companion that makes it possible to fry your food with a minimum amount of oil, with no diminished flavor. I’ve spent several hours researching the latest after seeing and hearing about how my friends use their own air fryers to make delicious treats.

Here are the top air fryers available on Amazon, with some of the best value picks for you.

Best Air Fryer Winner: [amazon_textlink asin=’B079L2ZQGB’ text=’Philips HD9630/98 Avance XXL Twin Turbostar Airfryer (3lb/4qt)’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’2a30004d-bc59-11e8-bf56-87762b4d1b24′]best air fryers

This fryer is the leading model in 2018. The [amazon_textlink asin=’B079L2ZQGB’ text=’Philips HD9630/98 Avance XXL Twin Turbostar Airfryer (3lb/4qt)’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’57eb9c4e-bc59-11e8-b4a5-433d86effc94′] knocks it out of the park when it comes to fries, regardless of how stacked the basket is. One thing I love about this sleeping bag is its ability to load up to three pounds and still have the food efficiently done: crunchy, tender, and bursting with flavor.

A chicken dish comprising of wings will come with a delicious, crackling crust, while burgers will rival ones prepared on a grill. These performances are some of the indicators of genuine quality, with a consistency in a delicious, well-done dish. You want a fryer that exhibits excellent performance, regardless of the load in the cooking basket.

Biggest Selling Points

The Philips XXL has an impressive capacity, with a cooking basket that can hold more than three pounds of ingredients. The narrative that bulk cooking results in an inferior quality output doesn’t apply to this cooking unit.

Efficient cooking is guaranteed, with the cooked meal coming out well-done with a tasty crust, especially chicken and fries. Over and above the price and size, you need a cooker that does what it is expected to do, meeting and exceeding the expected performance.

The fryer comes with a cookbook, giving you some exciting recipe ideas for the perfect cooking experience. This addition is an excellent touch, providing additional insights into your existing cooking ideas.

This fryer is relatively easy to use and requires no preheating. Having an easy operation procedure is a big plus, as you don’t want equipment that is too tedious to operate.

Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

This air fryer is somewhat bulky and may cause inconvenience if your kitchen doesn’t have a lot of space. Convenience involves ease of storage, and for this reason, this is a downside. As the name suggests, the Philips XXL is massive. Too much weight may be a considerable inconvenience considering the cleaning involved in both this machine and in general. As this usually involves moving the cooking equipment, a heavy device may not be ideal.

The air fryer is also noisy. The added noise means that the cooking process may not be a quiet process as well, and too much noise can be a bit uncomfortable for some users as well.

The price may deter consumers from a purchase. The model has more components than your conventional unit and is therefore not easier to clean. With a big basket, the dishwasher is bound to be stacked when cleaning the fryer.

Why It’s the Best

All said and done, this is a worthy investment, with the fryer capable of preparing some of the best fried – and healthy – meals you can have. While there may be cons, its performance is head and shoulders above the rest regarding the quality of food prepared. This model is the number one pick, combining size and efficiency to perfection.

 

[amazon_link asins=’B079L2ZQGB’ template=’Custom’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ text=” link_id=’b313e2be-bdc2-11e8-bb16-570d1951df75′]

Best Air Fryer Runner-Up: [amazon_textlink asin=’B01M2Z9P9L’ text=’SimpleTaste 1400W Multi-Function Electric Air Fryer’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’94ae2e6f-bdc5-11e8-bef8-990eb37d4bbe’]

This air fryer is your ideal companion for preparing those fried foods on a daily basis. Not only does it give some good results, but it is also relatively easy to use. The [amazon_textlink asin=’B01M2Z9P9L’ text=’SimpleTaste Multi-function Electric Air Fryer’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d194d8e5-bdc5-11e8-a41e-91b06c6ca64a’] produces some of the tastiest french fries you can have, manifesting excellent performance in the preparation of nuggets, chicken, or even vegetables.

Tip from a friend: if you want a better-tasting meal, spray items with a little oil before feeding it your ingredients. With performance that rivals that of a small convection oven, this is an ideal cooking partner for you.

Why You Should Consider Getting One

This piece is a big plus and remains a pocket-friendly purchase for an excellent piece of kitchen equipment. It is also easy to clean. This fryer is one that will present a minimal challenge when cleaning, with the process usually taking less than a couple of minutes.

The 3.2-quart capacity means that is spacious enough to prepare a relatively sizeable meal: you can fit in a couple of large chicken breasts, about eight chicken wings, or four drumsticks. You can even quickly cook a whole chicken, granted that it is not too big. The detachable basket is relatively easy to remove – doable with a single hand.

The SimpleTaste air fryer comes with an array of smart programs that greatly aid excellent user experience. Pre-set settings ensure that you save time and effort during daily use. The fryer is easy to use, coming with user instructions that are easy to read and understand. The straightforward operation makes your cooking experience that much easier.

Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

This air fryer is not big enough for the preparation of multiple meals, meaning that if you need a sizeable dinner ready, especially when you have guests, an alternative option is inevitable.

The SimpleTaste air fryer is a cooking companion with numerous advantages, in spite of the apparent limitation in size. If you don’t need to prepare a big meal, this is the best bet for you. The fryer is not as big as the Philips XXL, but it offers a similar performance.

Best Air Fryer Honorable Mention – [amazon_textlink asin=’B01K0W8LTE’ text=’Cuisinart TOA-60 Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven Air Fryer’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7e500713-bdc9-11e8-95b4-cd652c60ee63′]

This counter-top oven is one of your best cooking companions, letting you fry, bake, warm, broil, and toast in relative comfort. This high-power fryer is considerably large, weighing in at 21 pounds. This fryer is relatively spacious, with the ability to comfortably hold up to 3 pounds of ingredients. The package comes with a wire rack, air fryer wire, as well as a baking pan. The oven interior is stainless steel-made, making for a non-stick and easy to clean interior.

Standout Qualities

This fryer has an array of impressive functionalities that enable you to roast pork or chicken, giving you room for experimentation and creativity with your recipes. This piece of cooking equipment serves the roles of air fryer, convection oven, and toaster, all rolled up into one functional unit. The [amazon_textlink asin=’B01K0W8LTE’ text=’Cuisinart TOA-60 Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven Air Fryer’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’eef8a993-bdc9-11e8-8fcf-b111833dd61d’] exhibits some very straightforward operation, making it very easy to use for the best cooking experience.

The air fryer does not need to preheat and is very fast in all cooking operations. This mode of operation translates to better convenience, making it ideal for meals prepared by someone with a crowded schedule. This air fryer is spacious, with the ability to comfortably accommodate a sizeable amount of ingredients.

Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

The absence of a removable drip tray can leave a mess, meaning that grease and breadcrumbs collection is only possible by the additional use of a baking tray. Sometimes, you may not be sure of the temperature settings for your meals, meaning the adoption of a trial and error approach at some point. This uncertainty means that the risk of burning food will be a constant concern. The fryer comes with a tray and basket that is not dishwasher safe, and you may need to get creative and put in some effort to keep these components clean.

For this Cuisinart fryer, microwave and rotisserie functions are conspicuously absent. Considering that these serve a consistent purpose, this may be a severe downside when it comes to this fryer. Although it is more affordable than the Philips XXL, it goes for twice the cost of a SimpleTaste air fryer. For all its functions, the impressive service will set you back a considerable amount.

This air fryer has an undeniably good performance and should be a serious consideration when in the market for one. The Cuisinart cooker exhibits an impressive array of functions and is a fast-cooker. For a busy kitchen, this is your perfect pick.

Best Air Fryer Honorable Mention: [amazon_textlink asin=’B075G3CCH8′ text=’KRUPS AJ1000US Air Fryer Low-Fat with Adjustable Temperature’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’dd912389-bdca-11e8-8e73-0f0cc875eaf3′]

The chief characteristics of this kitchen appliance include the ability to cook quickly, as well as food that is prepared adequately without diminished flavor. Ovens will at times struggle to replicate delicious crispiness, but the [amazon_textlink asin=’B075G3CCH8′ text=’KRUPS AJ1000US Air Fryer Low-Fat with Adjustable Temperature’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’fd1b53a7-bdca-11e8-a04c-d126a8c63b71′] will deliver that with minimum fuss, especially with chicken meals.

A simple interface ensures simple, straightforward functionality that is easy use. This air fryer offers excellent flexibility, with the chance to set temperatures as desired: anywhere from 30 to 390 degrees Fahrenheit. I understand that not everyone using an air fryer has prior experience. This one is straightforward to use, with a simple interface consisting of icons depicting foods that cook at various temperatures on the temperature adjustor. With such a helpful interface, the need to consult a manual about temperature settings may not be necessary.

Key Selling Points

For its features, this air fryer is one of the most affordable considering the available features and performance. The fryer offers a variety of functions at a very affordable price. The KRUPS air fryer is fast, and the food is cooked through. This speed and efficiency make it perfect for the person with a crowded daily schedule.

The fryer offers some fantastic flexibility, giving you the chance to adjust the desired temperature with ease. You don’t need to be well-versed on functionalities of similar equipment to use this one. Useful icons on the temperature knob assist you to know the ideal temperatures for your choice of food. This bit of ingenuity on the interface is a big selling point.

Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

If you are not sure of the ideal temperature for cooking your meal, you risk burning it at a temperature that is too high.

Why get a KRUPS air fryer?

With a bargain comes an inevitable limitation of features. However, if the fryer adequately addresses all your cooking needs, this is an ideal pick. This fryer is an excellent buy, especially if you don’t have a lot of time to get your meals ready, or if you don’t have a lot of experience with air fryers. The impressive balance of a pocket-friendly price between a friendly price and excellent performance is its biggest plus.

My Take on the Best Air Fryer (and What to Consider When Buying)

There are tons of advantages evident in the use of air fryers, with the principal one being better, healthier meals. Price remains a core consideration when making your purchase, and whatever you get off the shelf will need to fit comfortably within your price range. Along with the price, pick a fryer that serves the purpose, as the primary target of your shopping trip is to get a cooking appliance that resolves an existing need.

As with every new invention, different brands are available in the market. The presence of variety is inevitable. This availability of different brands and models necessitates careful consideration to make the perfect purchase for your cooking needs.

Considerations that come about on your shopping trip for the best air fryer will include:

Cost

We all have an idea of how much we may be willing to spend to get that excellent kitchen item off the shelf and any amount overly exceeding that may prove a deterrent. The set price has to be reasonable, or at least fall within the range of price affordable or deemed reasonable to you. To get a fair price, we will usually go online and check the rates quoted by different prices quoted by different sellers. This online check gives us an idea of the price ballparks, avoiding the possibility of hitting the aisles blind.

Capacity

Cooking equipment must have the size needed to serve the purpose as desired. Any item that is too small may limit the portions that you can prepare, and this may, in the long run, be discouraging. A fryer that is too big may also make it harder to move around or face some inconvenience regarding managing the available kitchen space. You, therefore, need to get a fryer that perfectly fits the bill regarding size and capacity. Both size and cooking capacity is critical, so this consideration is inevitable.

Temperature Variation

Different foods cook at various temperatures, and a cooker that doesn’t offer much wiggle-room regarding the ability to adjust temperatures may not be excellent. You will want a fryer that gets all desired meals done, with a level of temperature flexibility that reflects true value for money.

Any foods that you fry must at least be capable of being prepared on the fryer, as you seek to maintain a healthy dietary plan. Ensure that you know the temperatures your desired range of foods cook at, as this is a critical consideration when making the pick for your ideal cooker.

Ease of Use

Ideal cooking equipment should not be too complicated to use, as in the process you may inadvertently cause damage to the unit. A complicated setup may also translate to additional work in getting everything set up correctly, which may prove too much of a hassle when you want to prepare a relatively simple meal.

Ideal fryers will have a relatively straightforward operation, and with the desired output, this straightforward operation makes the cooking experience a breeze. The settings and components should come with clear and appropriate labeling, in a proper font size that translates to convenient use.

Features Versus Price Factor

Cheap isn’t always the better deal. Be sure to check the capabilities and the corresponding price quotation. Many of the ‘cheaper’ models will usually have a lower capacity or exhibit other limitations regarding the available features. It is essential to know what features you need in the ideal fryer and go for one that checks all the right boxes.

Remember, it makes no sense to pay for features you may not need in your usual food preparation routine, so buy what works for you, and stick to what serves your cooking needs best.

Remember to Consult

It doesn’t hurt to check around for user experience and professional perspectives. Consult and get more details and insight before paying. Expensive doesn’t always indicate quality, and affordability doesn’t always reflect limited functionality.

In your consultations, be sure to confirm the materials making up the actual cooking unit, as weak components may affect longevity and leave you feeling shortchanged. Every consumer desires to get value for money, and a great deal of value comes in the form of long-term service. It doesn’t matter how good a fryer is if you have to look for a replacement after a short time.

In Summary of the Best Air Fryer Available Today

Here’s my perspective on the reviewed models:

Best Air Fryer Performers

The Philips XXL, Cuisinart, and the SimpleTaste air fryers are the best air fryer options available. These models offer performance and excellent value for money, with the Philips giant being the standout best air fryer performer.

Bargain Pick Best Air Fryer

The KRUPS air fryer is a bargain pick best air fryer. It is a very efficient one, which is a steal.

Remember to get confirmation about the available warranty with your best air fryer, as with every piece of electronic appliance you purchase. With this inquiry comes the need to know the extent of the warranty. Get to understand the scope of cover involved as well as the duration it is valid. Electronic equipment is prone to failure and malfunction, even in the absence of misuse. Additionally, the warranty is a critical facet of all purchases involving electronic equipment.

Wisdom also dictates that you find out if some components remain designated for separate purchases. Some parts are paid for separately, so be sure to confirm if the listed price is inclusive of all elements. It is these seemingly minor charges that end up driving the initial cost of securing the best air fryer up.

Put on some fun music on your favorite speakers and start cooking. Enjoy! Bon appetite!

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The Best Bread Pan for Baking Homemade Bread

Once you’ve measured, kneaded, proofed, and shaped your favorite homemade bread dough, how much does the pan you bake it in influence the final result? Quite a bit, actually! The color and texture of the finished loaf are dependent on the pan you use. That’s not all; once the bread is baked and sliced, your choice of bread pan affects the time it takes to clean up as well.

Who am I to recommend the best bread pan? I am an avid home baker and self-proclaimed cookware nerd. I’ve been making all of the bread (sweet and savory) my family of five can eat for nearly a decade. My start to this tasty hobby began through baking sandwich bread, and I’ve developed strong opinions about the best bread pans for homemade bread along the way.

After making hundreds of loaves of my own sandwich and sweet bread over the past ten years, I reach for my pick for the best bread pan (a [amazon_textlink asin=’B0029JQEIC’ text=’USA Pan Bakeware 1 lb. Loaf Pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’fa0dba49-3674-11e8-9242-9395d528465b’]) every time, thanks to the fact that it bakes bread evenly without over browning and is incredibly easy to clean. To give you even more options, I have also narrowed down the myriad choices online and in the baking aisle to four of the best bread pans for both savory and sweet loaves. In this article, I will go over the pros and cons of our favorite bread pans.

Our top pick: [amazon_textlink asin=’B0029JQEIC’ text=’USA Pan Bakeware 1 lb. Loaf Pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’36edfd3f-3675-11e8-8ad6-7d3de4bd0853′]

This [amazon_textlink asin=’B0029JQEIC’ text=’USA Pan Loaf Pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’3eafebad-3675-11e8-bbaa-15d1d778e254′] is our number one choice for both savory and sweet breads because it bakes evenly without over browning and is incredibly easy to clean. I have never had a loaf stick in the pan after baking, including loaves that are notoriously difficult to remove like loaves with raisins or fruit in the dough.

Specs

The pan is made from heavy-gauge aluminized steel with a unique fluting to encourage the bread to release easily and prevent warping. If the professional-grade design looks familiar, it’s probably because USA Pan sells customized versions of its pans to many specialty baking stores around the country. Once I learned to recognize the signature fluting and design, I found it at high-end gourmet stores all over.

Although the non-stick coating is PTFE/PFOA free and dishwasher safe, I have never needed to use the dishwasher…or even an abrasive scrubber. A simple rinse with soap and water is all my pans ever need. The bread pan comes in multiple sizes, but I find the 1 lb. loaf pan to be just right for an everyday, multipurpose pan. This is the best bread pan for almost every situation I’ve come across in my years of regularly baking bread for my family of five.

 

[amazon_link asins=’B002UNMZOO’ template=’Custom’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ text=” link_id=’8fc278c0-36b4-11e8-ab07-89f19fd95d49′]

First Runner-Up: [amazon_textlink asin=’B00H5BQICG’ text=’Pyrex 1.5-Quart Clear Basics Glass Loaf Pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f6b79586-3675-11e8-904d-bb04c913e92a’]

Glass pans distribute heat more evenly than metal pans do, which is one of the main advantages of the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00H5BQICG’ text=’Pyrex 1.5-Quart Clear Basics Glass Loaf Pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’0b49b254-3676-11e8-81d3-6d23e7967ffb’]. Another nice feature is the ability to see the bottom of the loaf while it is still in the pan, helping you prevent any soggy or underdone loaf bottoms. When I was first starting out as a bread maker, I really appreciated being able to check if the bottom of my bread was done in my glass pan.

Specs

I find I have the best results when I reduce my cooking temperature slightly with glass pans to prevent the loaf from cooking too quickly on the outside, a byproduct of the better heat distribution. My bread crusts are softer as a result of the lower temperature. If you prefer a sandwich bread with a soft crust, try baking it in a glass pan. You will need to preheat the glass pan before adding your dough—a major obstacle with most yeast breads—if you are looking for a crispy crust.

The one major downside of baking in a glass pan is that loaves are prone to sticking unless you thoroughly grease the pan prior to baking. This is especially true of quick loaves of bread like banana and pumpkin, which was ultimately why we chose the [amazon_textlink asin=’B0029JQEIC’ text=’USA Pan Bakeware 1 lb. Loaf Pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b23b8a16-3675-11e8-81f2-b1929da38b26′] as our top pick instead. The [amazon_textlink asin=’B00H5BQICG’ text=’Pyrex 1.5-Quart Glass Loaf Pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ec70bf0d-3677-11e8-b53b-a94db10faa0c’] stands up to scrubbing and is dishwasher safe, so you can wash off any stuck-on bits without worrying about scratching the pan or having it rust.

Second Runner-Up: [amazon_textlink asin=’B001K2058E’ text=’Wilton Perfect Results Large Non-Stick Pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’310bfc50-3676-11e8-9278-75ea90f126db’]

The [amazon_textlink asin=’B001K2058E’ text=’Wilton Perfect Results Large Non-Stick Pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’3b1df5dd-3676-11e8-abb7-dbe614e62f6e’] is a popular choice among bread bakers for good reason. Wilton is known for making quality products accessible to home bakers—both in price and availability. As long as the non-stick coating is intact, nothing will stick to the pan, making it incredibly easy to use and clean.

Specs

The dark non-stick coating leads to a darker crust, which can be a positive or negative factor depending on the type of bread you bake. Bread also cooks more quickly in this pan than in any other pan on our list because of the dark coating. Oversized handles on each end make it easy to grab without sticking a thumb into the side of your load, even with bulky oven mitts on. In the end, the [amazon_textlink asin=’B001K2058E’ text=’Wilton Perfect Results Large Non-Stick Pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’58cb4f8e-3676-11e8-9b21-79ace8c3251f’] just missed the top of our list because it is significantly less convenient once the non-stick coating is scratched or damaged in any way.

My Wilton loaf pans were my go-to pans for over a year before one of the pans was scratched too much to use. Before the coating scratched off, it was the best bread pan in my kitchen. It fell just short of our pick for the best bread pan, however, because it was not nearly as durable as my [amazon_textlink asin=’B0029JQEIC’ text=’USA Pan loaf pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’4d86bf9b-3675-11e8-9278-75ea90f126db’].

Most of the scratches on my pan came from children trying to pry loaves out with butter knives, however, which may not be an issue at your house. As long as you care for your pans properly, or replace any worn pans promptly, you will love the ease of using and washing this truly non-stick pan.

Honorable Mention: [amazon_textlink asin=’B003OF9CY8′ text=’Mrs. Andersons Baking Silicone Loaf Pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’6f7d981c-3677-11e8-be2b-9d9ab81738c1′]

No list of loaf pans would be complete without mentioning a silicone option. Fans of silicone baking molds love them for how easy loaves of bread and cakes are to remove with a simple twist of the pan, even without any oil or spray. If you are looking for a non-stick pan without any non-stick coating, [amazon_textlink asin=’B003OF9CY8′ text=’Mrs. Andersons Baking Silicone Loaf Pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7c0f5df8-3677-11e8-a2a4-cb611b633f41′] is our favorite.

Specs

Made from European-grade silicone, there are no fillers or plastics in the pan at all. While silicone baking molds do not hold their shape as well as glass and metal pans, [amazon_textlink asin=’B003OF9CY8′ text=’Mrs. Andersons Baking Silicone Loaf Pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’856a8a6e-3677-11e8-959c-df8da65d6632′] has been reinforced for better longevity than most silicone pans on the market.

One disadvantage of baking bread in a silicone pan is that the bottom and sides will never brown as well as the top of the loaf because of the way heat is distributed along the silicone. Although we felt that knocked any silicone pan out of contention for our top pick, [amazon_textlink asin=’B003OF9CY8′ text=’Mrs. Andersons Baking Silicone Loaf Pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’62388708-3677-11e8-9110-dd34fb30d904′] deserved honorable mention because of its superior ability to evenly bake and release quick bread loaves—which brown more evenly because of their high sugar content—and what it provides for any baker looking for a non-stick pan without any special coating.

For best results, place any silicone baking pan on a cookie sheet before filling. Some bakers even use [amazon_textlink asin=’B003OF9CY8′ text=’Mrs. Andersons Silicone Loaf Pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a0b38dcd-3677-11e8-9d4e-1b1c6c9adf91′] as a non-stick liner with other bread pans.

Why Homemade Bread?

There are two main reasons I have enjoyed making my own bread for so many years: I can control what goes into each loaf and baking my family’s bread saves us money.

Homemade bread gives you better control over ingredients.

Making your own bread allows you to decide what ingredients go in your bread. The basics of yeast bread are the same no matter what variation you make. Once you master basic sandwich bread, you can easily try your hand at three-cheese bread, raisin cinnamon bread, and more.

Our family favorite is a walnut and sunflower seed whole wheat bread that we’ve never seen in stores. The same is true of quick loaves of bread; banana nut bread is not any harder to make than pumpkin, zucchini, or poppyseed bread. You will be surprised how easy it is to create your own variations once you learn the basic technique.

Do you have any dietary restrictions? Is anyone in your family gluten or dairy-free? If so, baking your own bread is often easier than carefully reading ingredient labels as you try to find your favorite loaves of bread at the store. By baking at home, you can make variations of all your favorite loaves of bread that everyone can eat. Choosing the best bread pan for the job is a major part of learning how to bake bread at home.

Baking homemade bread saves money.

In an earlier article, we told you the secrets to cutting your monthly food bill (according to the internet). The number one way to save money on food each month was to cook at home, and baking your own bread can be a part of that. Once you settle on a favorite recipe, you can easily purchase ingredients in bulk for a fraction of the cost of storebought bread.

It does take more time to make bread than to buy it at the store, but the difference in flavor and the quality of ingredients more than makes up that difference, especially because bread freezes so well. I make two loaves of bread almost every weekend: my family and I eat one loaf fresh over the next few days and I freeze the second loaf, pre-sliced, for quick toast and sandwiches later in the week.

While the actual cost per loaf will vary depending on the recipe you use and where you buy your ingredients, we’ve broken down the cost of homemade vs. storebought bread for comparison, assuming a basic whole wheat bread recipe and a loaf of standard whole wheat sandwich bread costing $2.98 per 1-lb. loaf.

The Cost of Homemade Bread vs. Storebought Bread

Storebought bread: $2.98
Per slice: $0.17

4 c. whole wheat flour: $0.88
1/2 tsp. instant yeast: $0.14
1/2 tsp. salt: $0.03
1/4 c. granulated sugar: $0.10
1/4 c. oil: $0.13
Homemade bread: $1.28
Per slice: $0.09

Even factoring in a smaller loaf size (15 slices) for homemade bread than storebought bread (18 slices), homemade bread is still a savings of over a dollar per loaf for a basic loaf of whole wheat sandwich bread! Baking your own specialty and artisan bread will save you even more money since many rustic loaves run upwards of $5.00/loaf at the supermarket. Baking bread not only saves you money compared to purchasing a loaf from the store, but the bread tastes better! There is nothing quite so delicious as a hot slice of fresh bread with butter and honey.

What to Look for in the Best Bread Pan

There are four main factors to consider when shopping for a new bread pan: How evenly does the bread bake? Will your bread loaf stick to the pan? How easy is it to clean the loaf pan? What is the bread pan made of? Any of the pans on our list will outperform disposable bread pans in all four areas, but let’s take a closer look at each to help you determine the best bread pan for your kitchen.

How evenly does the bread bake?

Ultimately, a bread pan that fails to produce an evenly-baked loaf will never see the light of your kitchen. I had a beautiful, decorative bread pan that I held on to for many years (and through multiple moves!) but rarely used because I was always unhappy with the results. When you are searching for a pan that leads to an even bake, start by testing weight. In general, heavier pans will distribute the heat more evenly.

Loaves baked in dark metal pans will brown faster than loaves baked in other pans, while loaves baked in glass or silicone will brown less on the bottom and sides. For yeast loaves of bread, I prefer a sturdier crust; when it comes to quick loaves of bread, I like the softer crust of a glass or silicone pan.

Will your bread loaf stick to the pan?

Loaf pans with the non-stick coating are the absolute best when it comes to removing bread without leaving any behind on the sides of the pan. The downside to coated pans is that the coating eventually scratches off or deteriorates with heavy use. That said, the coating on my favorite pan, the [amazon_textlink asin=’B0029JQEIC’ text=’USA Pan Bakeware 1 lb. Loaf Pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’5dc512a0-3675-11e8-9fa5-cf4964d72d16′], has held up to many years of regular use: I bake bread in my pan at least once a week and have washed it by hand and in the dishwasher both without any reduction in its non-stick quality.

Stainless steel and glass loaf pans require greasing before each use, but they have the potential to outlive non-stick pans. Silicone baking molds provide the same non-stick ability without greasing the pan, but they do lose their shape over time.

How easy is it to clean the loaf pan?

Both the [amazon_textlink asin=’B0029JQEIC’ text=’USA Pan Bakeware’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’686ce327-3675-11e8-86df-63e0d7e5172c’] and Wilton loaf pans wash up quickly with just soap and hot water, although the former is also safe to clean in the dishwasher. If you are shopping for a pan without non-stick coating, look for something that can stand up to scrubbing for times when you need to use a little elbow grease to get it clean. Glass pans are my top choice for durability because they can withstand scrubbing with even abrasive chemicals and metal utensils.

What is the bread pan made of?

In the end, most bakers have a favorite material when it comes to bakeware. If that is true for you, find a loaf pan to match. I have recently started replacing my own muffin tins and cake pans with USA-brand pans because of how much I love the [amazon_textlink asin=’B0029JQEIC’ text=’USA Pan Bakeware 1 lb. Loaf Pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’6edef8d0-3675-11e8-aec1-55e27a81e813′].

If you still aren’t sure which material to choose, start by figuring out what traits matter to you most. Is durability your primary concern? If so, then the Pyrex 1.5-Quart Clear Basics Glass Loaf Pan or a simple stainless steel pan are probably your best bets. Do you need a pan that releases even the stickiest loaf every time? The Wilton Perfect Results Large Non-Stick Pan and [amazon_textlink asin=’B0029JQEIC’ text=’USA Pan Bakeware 1 lb. Loaf Pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’75b1577b-3675-11e8-8daa-494ec3168209′] is equally fantastic, although I favor the latter slightly because the coating is much more durable. If you are hesitant to use a non-stick pan for whatever reason, you may prefer a ceramic or silicone pan. While Mrs. Anderson’s Baking Silicone Loaf Pan is not perfect for every recipe, it does offer superior loaf release without any chemical coating or added oil.

Non-Stick Coating

A note on non-stick coating: Many home chefs are concerned that their non-stick coatings may contain dangerous materials. Ongoing research is underway about many of the chemicals used in non-stick coatings. At the time of this writing, the primary concern is for skillets and pans that are heated to 500°F.

Most bread is baked at 350°-425°F, so your bread pans should never be exposed to dangerous levels of heat. If you are still worried about what makes up the coating of your non-stick pan, carefully read the product description before purchasing or select another type of pan.

The Best Bread Pan for Everyday Use

Loaf pans are often inexpensive enough that you can purchase more than one model if you want to do your own at-home trial. In the end, however, there is only one pan I reach for each time I bake yeast or sweetbreads and give as gifts to all the graduates in my life getting ready to leave home (with a copy of my favorite bread recipe, of course). The [amazon_textlink asin=’B0029JQEIC’ text=’USA Pan Bakeware 1 lb. Loaf Pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7fad0935-3675-11e8-8867-b54702c0b0e0′] is our top choice because it performs well in each of the four factors I used to evaluate bread pans for both yeast breads and sweet quick breads.

If you are looking for the best bread fan for everyday use, I am confident you will love the [amazon_textlink asin=’B0029JQEIC’ text=’USA Pan 1 lb. Loaf Pan’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’885670fe-3675-11e8-9968-31d49a9c1cd6′] as much as I do.

FAQs About Baking Homemade Bread:

Q: Where do I find bread recipes?

A. You can find great bread recipes online, in most cookbooks, and even on the back of many flour bags. My favorite way to get bread recipes is to ask friends and family for recommendations; many people have a favorite family recipe they are happy to share.

Q: Doesn’t making bread at home take too much time?

A. It does take a few hours to bake bread from start to finish, but there are quite a few ways you can reduce the time commitment. One way is to make a no-knead or overnight bread recipe that requires very little active preparation time. Another way to save on the time commitment is to make a larger batch of bread. Two loaves (or even four loaves) take the same amount of time to make as a single loaf, as long as you have enough pans and oven space. Like I mentioned earlier in the article, most bread freezes beautifully.

Q: How do I go about freezing my homemade bread?

A. If you find yourself with more fresh bread than you can eat in a day or two, freezing the rest is a great option. I prefer to slice my sandwich bread before freezing to make it even easier to use for breakfast and lunches during a busy week.

Once the bread is completely cool, slice up your loaf and wrap it in plastic wrap or a zip-top freezer bag before freezing. When freezing sweet bread, simply wrap the entire loaf in plastic wrap and freeze whole. Although it is possible to freeze individual slices of quick loaves of bread, the loaf retains its moisture better if you freeze it whole.

Q: What about thawing my frozen bread?

A. One reason I prefer to slice my homemade sandwich bread before freezing is because it makes thawing the bread so convenient. Remove the slices you need from the freezer and thaw at room temperature for around 20 minutes. For an even higher-quality result, warm the bread slightly in an oven preheated to 350° before serving. For quick loaves of bread, thaw the entire loaf in the fridge overnight or on the counter for an hour.

Q: How should I store homemade bread?

A. Homemade sandwich bread will maintain the best texture if you store it in a plastic bread bag once the loaf is completely cool. A bag leftover from a storebought loaf will work, or you can purchase specialty bread bags online. Quick bread should be wrapped tightly in plastic or stored in a plastic bag. Crusty, artisan bread should not be kept in plastic, however, as it will prevent the bread from keeping its signature crackly crust. To maintain a crisp crust, store rustic bread in a paper bag instead.

Q: How can I be sure my non-stick bread pan is safe?

A. Look for a pan that does not contain PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), which is a suspected carcinogen, and avoid using any non-stick pan at heats about 500° F. Fortunately, no bread recipes I have ever used—even when baking crusty loaves like baguettes—have called for temperatures above 500°. If you are still concerned about what might be in the non-stick coating of your bread pan, opt for a glass or 100% silicone pan instead.

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The Best Home Espresso Machine

Life for an espresso lover without a home espresso machine can be rough – on the wallet at least. Perhaps you have been brave enough to add up last month’s tally of espresso drink expenditures at your local coffee house. Maybe you read about the best home coffee roaster and you’re looking to homebrew what you just home roasted. Or, maybe you love espresso so much, you want to make the move from espresso drinker to espresso connoisseur.

No matter what the reason, I can help you in your quest to find the perfect home espresso machine. Having roasted my own beans, brewed countless pots of coffee, and pulled limitless espresso shots, I love coffee talk. I am easily over 6,000 hours deep in my “all things coffee and espresso” obsession. So, I invite you to come along as I explain my picks for the best home espresso machines on the market.  

The Best Home Espresso Machines

Before I go into my top picks, I need to provide some information about the process. Home Espresso machines usually fall in one of two categories: semi-automatic home espresso machines and super-automatic home espresso machines. Semi-Automatic espresso machines put the power of the espresso in the user’s hands. The machine provides the heat and pressure. The user provides the grind, amount, tamp strength, and milk steaming.

With semi-automatics, the coffee beans must be ground with a separately purchased bean grinder. Or, the espresso user can use pre-ground coffee. Although a small learning curve faces the user at first, learning how to grind, dose, tamp and pull shots is a fairly intuitive process. With a few hours of experimentation, any espresso lover can be well on their way to a fine pull of quality espresso.

Like espresso making, the milk steaming comes with a learning curve as well. The right amount of milk must be poured into the steaming pitcher. Enough room should be left for the milk to expand during the process, but not fall short on milk in the final cup.

The art of espresso drink making can be experienced most authentically with a semi-automatic home espresso machine. The process can be a bit messier than what one may experience with a super automatic. But, the enjoyment of handcrafting a drink from scratch that’s up to one’s exact specifications can be wholly gratifying.

The Winner: Semi-Automatic Home Espresso Machine Top Pick – [amazon_textlink asin=’B00I6JGGP0′ text=’The Breville BES920XL’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’2a87c4ac-20cf-11e8-9656-c7b173c2c310′]

A good part of what separates a good semi-automatic espresso machine from a great one is the number of boilers. One boiler is sufficient for espresso making and milk steaming. But, the wait time for the water temperature to adjust between the two different temperature levels (milk steaming vs. espresso brewing), is significantly less on a double boiler system.

Most of the time, selecting a home espresso maker with a double boiler means paying a good deal more. But this isn’t the case with the Breville BES920XL. Yes, you’ll pay more for the dual boiler than a one boiler system by the same manufacturer. But it’s not what I would consider a price hike compared to other systems on the market.

Features

Well, for starters, this machine is remarkably consistent in maintaining water temperature and pressure. Properly extracted espresso requires consistent pressure devoid of fluctuation. Breville achieves this a few ways. First, through consistency by maintaining precise temperature levels thanks to its double boiler. Then it uses its Proportional-Integral-Controller (PID) to monitor and maintain water temperature. Finally it uses its device enabled group head to add a third temperature check before extracting the espresso shot.

For the flavor consistency factor of the overall enjoyable cup equation, Breville offers a gradual pre-infusion feature. This feature wets the espresso grounds at a low-pressure level. It then gradually increases pressure until the minimum optimal nine bars of pressure is achieved. And, if the grinds are too fine, or the amount of espresso in the basket is too much, it compensates. The Over Pressure Valve (OPV) activates so as to prevent any bitterness in the extracted shot.

Milk steaming is a true art form with the Breville BES920XL thanks to its classic steam wand. There is no easy steaming with this machine. But that’s the beauty of it. With this wand, latte art can be learned and achieved, making the entire espresso drink production a deeply gratifying experience.

 

[amazon_link asins=’B00ISQ6ZM0′ template=’Custom’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ text=” link_id=’588c50ef-2193-11e8-82be-6d2ecd2811e9′]

Semi-Automatic Home Espresso Machine Runner Up – [amazon_textlink asin=’B0001KOA4Q’ text=’The Gaggia Classic’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’10857198-20cf-11e8-9a2d-d729ddbe432d’]

What’s so special about the Gaggia? The name for starters. Gaggia is the first manufacturer to design and produce espresso machines for home use. Gaggia invented the first pump-driven espresso machine back in the early 20th century. Since then, Gaggia has been churning out one high-quality beast of a machine after another.

The [amazon_textlink asin=’B0001KOA4Q’ text=’Gaggia Classic’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’db6d31d4-20c6-11e8-bfd7-194930af6b5d’] is one of its oldest and most reliable models still in production. It first sprung onto the market in 1991. Not much has changed since then, mostly due to the reliability and superior performance year after year.

Like most home espresso makers, this machine has a single boiler. But, heat recovery is remarkably fast in this little machine. What is also remarkable about the [amazon_textlink asin=’B0001KOA4Q’ text=’Gaggia Classic’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e56cb45f-20c6-11e8-87fc-cf80ec9db130′] is its high quality, heavy duty parts made of stainless steel, and chrome plated marine grade brass. Most machines feature a standard 15 bars of pressure, but the [amazon_textlink asin=’B0001KOA4Q’ text=’Gaggia Classic’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ee0294db-20c6-11e8-a8dc-9bfb498f99f6′] gives you 17 ½ bars and a high voltage boiler to keep water warming up quickly.

Design

The machine’s interface is simply designed. The bulk of the focus is on the high-quality interior components. The steam wand is simply designed as well. And it’s a bit easier to use than what you’ll find in the Breville. Gaggia uses a pannarello steam wand which allows you to steam the milk imperfectly but still get a nice foamy cup. Essentially it will do the foaming for you, as long as your placement is correct.

As with the Breville BES920XL, espresso making is completely in your hands with the [amazon_textlink asin=’B0001KOA4Q’ text=’Gaggia Classic’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ffaab188-20c6-11e8-b387-6b0b4f221529′]. Grind beans separately or use pre-ground ones. Choose between commercial or pressurized filter baskets depending on the type of grounds you’re using. Fill your portafilter and tamp down. Then insert into the group head, flip the switch, and watch a gorgeously extracted shot seep into your cup like honey.

The Super Automatic Home Espresso Machines

Top Pick – [amazon_textlink asin=’B01MSWO48Q’ text=’The Saeco Incanto’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’46ece7a1-20cf-11e8-9df1-77da5e88cec1′]

Another long loved and admired machine in the home espresso brewing industry, the [amazon_textlink asin=’B01MSWO48Q’ text=’Saeco Incanto Carafe Espresso Machine’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’21c9bce4-20c7-11e8-be14-9993baec9520′] provides a completely automatic espresso making experience from bean to cup. And it does so at a reasonable price.

Like all super-automatic machines, the Incanto is equipped with an adjustable-grind bean hopper. The most you have to do is load the beans when the hopper goes empty. Other than that, just push a button to pull an espresso shot. The machine grinds the beans and doses out the correct amount of grinds. Then it tamps the shot and pulls it so that a perfect brew oozes into your cup each time.

The bonus here is that you can customize your espresso and program the machine to brew up your custom drink for you whenever you want. In fact, the Incanto offers six preset drink settings customizable by you.

An especially “money well spent” feature is the fully automatic milk function. To order a milk-based espresso drink, just pull your full milk carafe from the fridge. Attach it to the steaming head. Push the desired drink button, stand back, and watch full espresso milk frothiness fill your cup.

Other Features

The grind is adjustable on this machine up to five fineness levels. Also adjustable is the espresso strength (via amount of espresso dosed into the basket), brew length, and drink temperature.

The size of the water tank, bean hopper, and dreg bin is generous. You can enjoy a multitude of espresso before needing to perform dump and refill duties. Like all other super-automatic machines, the Incanto features a bypass doser. So when you need a cup of decaf at 10:00 pm, you can still use your machine.

Super Automatic Home Espresso Machine Runner Up – [amazon_textlink asin=’B06X19GFZS’ text=’The Jura WE8′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’622fa998-20cf-11e8-80b5-81cc0ced3315′]

The [amazon_textlink asin=’B06X19GFZS’ text=’Jura WE8′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’568138ca-20c7-11e8-a199-81dc198e4720′] is a super high capacity machine at the tippy top of the home espresso machine spectrum. Ideally, it would be used in any high espresso traffic home or a small office. What makes the [amazon_textlink asin=’B06X19GFZS’ text=’Jura WE8 ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’5e7ed094-20c7-11e8-b73e-3b933a7f4c38′] perfect for this kind of its use is its super large capacity. You can enjoy a whopping 30 cups of espresso-based drinks before needing to dump pucks and refill water and beans.

Also the water tank holds an impressive 101 ounces. Most home super automatics range between 40 and 60 ounces. Dump an entire one pound bag of whole beans into the Jura’s 16.6 hopper and you’ll still have room to spare. Most other machines range between six and ten ounces.

But the Jura is not just about its size (though the size is nice). The whole operation of the machine is smooth. It quietly brews your espresso and it seamlessly mixes it with finely steamed milk using the cappuccinatore system. The high efficiency in drink production is due to Jura’s Pulse Extraction Process (PEP). The PEP doses out the espresso in a symphony of pulsed precision.

Other Great Features

There’s not much thinking needed with the operation of this machine. If you supply the water, milk, and beans, the Jura will literally do everything else for you. The Jura works from bean to cup, with the touch of a button. It will also alert you when the water filter needs to be changed thanks to its Intelligent Water System Filtration. And when it’s time to descale, the machine will be sure to let you know.

Just like most other well equipped super automatics, all the programmed drinks in the Jura menu can be customized. Customize it in terms of coffee strength, espresso brew length, drink temperature, and milk volume. Unlike, most other super-automatics, the Jura will let you put two scoops into the bypass doser instead of just one. So if you want to enjoy  an especially strong Decaf Americano, you can.

The Honorable Mention – [amazon_textlink asin=’B076PK4QV2′ text=’The PressoPump’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’75f723c9-20cf-11e8-bd0a-b33eef61f4fb’]

Who doesn’t like a good brew and go option, especially when you are an espresso addict? Taking a portable machine with you – whether you’re visiting a house full of tea drinkers, stuck in a lousy coffee hotel, or out and about hiking and camping – is an inexpensive way to get something pretty close to an authentic espresso shot.

Packaged completely in one neat and tidy unit, all you need to do is have a supply of ground beans and hot water on hand. Fill the appropriate compartments with grounds and water. Then manually pump the espresso by pressing the magic button. Viola, you have espresso.

Other Things To Consider When Home Espresso Brewing

The Quality

Whether you choose a semi-automatic or a super automatic, you should always choose quality over price. Price should not be the deciding factor between any two machines. Instead, the quality of the individual parts and the reputation of the company should be large components of the decision making process.

Look for home espresso machines that feature more stainless steel and less plastic. And, if you can, look for machines with even higher quality materials like brass. Boilers are often made of stainless steel at the home brewing level, but the best boilers are made from brass.

In the semi-automatic category look for machines that use commercial portafilters, or offer both pressurized and commercial portafilters. Machines that only use pressurized portafilters are trying to compensate for poor brewing pressure.

Lastly, take a look at the pump on the machine. It should be a vibration pump that offers a maximum pressure of at least 15 bars. Anything less can run the risk of under-extraction.

Once you’ve considered the inside of the machine, take a look at the outside. How heavy is it? Although a hefty machine can be an inconvenience, it’s weight often means it’s full of heavier, higher quality parts that will last longer, as opposed to light weight plastic components that will be certain to fail you sometime in the not so distant future.

Does the machine look cheap? If it looks cheap, it most likely is. With most espresso machines, you pay for what you get. Paying more, within a reasonable range, usually means an upgrade in quality, capacity, and capability. Paying much less means just the opposite.

The Bean

So much of what makes espresso truly exceptional begins with the actual bean: the origin, the blend, the roast, the quality, and the age.

The vast majority of coffee comes in two major categories: Arabica and Robusta. While Robusta is used for lower grade instant and bulk ground coffee, most Arabica will be found in whole bean packages.  But not all Arabica is created equal.

Arabica is sourced from farms, estates, and co-ops all over the world. The growing climate of the region in which the bean originates contributes greatly to the flavor profile of the bean. The higher the climate, and richer, preferably volcanic, the soil, the more intense the favor of the bean.  Beans from high altitude areas of Guatemala will have a distinctly different flavor profile beans grown in huge plantations in the lowland areas of Brazil.

Processing method has much to do with bean quality as the growing region does. If beans are not hand picked and weeded through after picking, lower quality, defective, and unripe beans will make their way through the process and affect the quality of the final batch – the roasted batch that you will taste when you grind your beans for a cup of espresso.

The Roast

The next step, roasting, has possibly the most impact on the flavor of the beans depending on the level of the roast. Most mass roasteries and supermarket brand producers over roast their beans to hide defective and unripe beans collected in the harvest. By over roasting, all natural flavor of the bean is completely hidden and replaced by the smoky, often sour flavor of the roast. If you see oil on your beans, it’s over roasted.

This is an important point as it relates to any super-automatic home roaster. Oily beans can damage your home espresso machine over time, because the oils can collect and gunk up the grinder, causing clogs and backups, and some headaches for you.

So, when you are looking for beans to use with your home espresso machine, look for beans that are medium brown in color and have only a slight sheen to them, like a satin finish on wall paint. You do not have to choose beans that say “Espresso Blend” on the bag. You can use any beans you like from anywhere in the world, and at any quality roast level for your espresso machine you prefer.  

Taking a little time to learn about the general flavor profiles you can expect from different coffee regions in the world will assist you in picking the best coffee for your espresso tastes. You may be surprised just how much variability is to be had in the flavor of espresso once you’ve had a correctly extracted shot from a finely roasted high quality bag of beans.

The Grind

If you’re purchasing a super automatic machine, then no need to worry. Most of the super automatics feature built in ceramic burr grinders. But if you’re purchasing a semi-automatic machine, then you’ll need to buy a grinder as well.  

The best grinder to buy is a burr grinder, not a blade grinder. Yes, blade grinders are incredibly inexpensive, and it is possible to pull espresso with coffee ground in a blade grinder. But you won’t have the consistency you need, which may result in an under extracted or over extracted shot in your cup. Yuck.

Conical burr grinders allow beans to be ground in the most even, consistent manner, and with a great amount of adjustability in grind fineness. Most blade grinders can’t even compare in fineness that a good burr grinder can achieve.

Another option is to purchase pre-ground “espresso”. While this is an option, I’d say it’s a worst case scenario. Bags of ground espresso have been sitting on the shelf, or in a box, in a warehouse for who knows how long. And with “espresso” roast you have no control over the roast level or the quality of the bean. This means it’s probably low quality Arabica that’s been over roasted to hide bean defects. The resulting espresso may very well taste flat and stale and reflect badly on the machine instead of placing blame where blame is due – on the bean.

Recap of the Top Picks

Semi-Automatic Top Pick – [amazon_textlink asin=’B00I6JGGP0′ text=’The Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e93312e3-20c3-11e8-9847-b92706d6e6bf’] For the user in love with the art of espresso making.

Semi-Automatic Runner Up – [amazon_textlink asin=’B0001KOA4Q’ text=’The Gaggia Classic Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’da9f6270-20c3-11e8-b317-3fe28537bb98′] A superb low-price option for the espresso user just getting into the game.

Super Automatic Top Pick – [amazon_textlink asin=’B01MSWO48Q’ text=’The Saeco Incanto Carafe Automatic Espresso Machine’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’c9a9a55e-20c3-11e8-b5e3-255235931532′] A dependable, no fuss, customizable, bean to cup machine.

Super Automatic Runner Up – [amazon_textlink asin=’B06W2KPL8D’ text=’The Jura WE8′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ba9c3198-20c3-11e8-a1fc-2b19f19a9429′] An espresso brewing monster of a machine, super high capacity and super capable.

The Honorable Mention – [amazon_textlink asin=’B076PK4QV2′ text=’The PressoPump Portable Espresso Machine’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a87e2131-20c3-11e8-9d43-c5da953cf18f’] For the addict who cannot function without a decent espresso on the go.

Choosing Between A Semi-Automatic and A Super Automatic Home Espresso Machine

Prices vary widely from machine to machine in both semi-automatic and super-automatic categories. You can easily spend more money on a high powered semi-automatic than a basic, but capable, super automatic espresso machine. Don’t let price sway you too strongly when trying to decide between the two.

Choosing whether to go semi-automatic or super automatic is more about preference. You’ll need to ask yourself a few questions, and let your answers guide you.

Q: Do you enjoy steaming milk?

Yes – Choose a semi-automatic or a super automatic with a steam wand.

No – Go straight for a super automatic with a milk carafe or cappuccinatore.

Manual steaming milk can be an easy or more difficult process depending on whether you are purchasing a machine with a traditional steam wand or a pannarello. Pannarello wands use a specific technology that will almost steam the milk for you, provided you place it at the correct depth in the milk pitcher.

Using a traditional steam wand takes a little more skill depending on how foamy you like your steamed milk. To achieve true micro foam, the wand must be placed just below the surface of the milk so that the milk spins in a circular motion, slowly foaming the milk. Just putting the wand deep into the milk will heat it, but not produce foam. If you’re looking to become a latte artist, choose the traditional wand.

Q: Do you mind a little mess?

Yes you do mind – Then do not buy a semi-automatic machine.

If you don’t mind – Then you could consider both a semi-automatic or a super-automatic.

Because the coffee grinding, dosing, tamping, and extraction is completely manual, a small mess can be made as coffee grounds get here and there on the counter. Same goes for the milk. Manual steaming means a little milk and steam flows here and there. And a lot of wiping down and rinsing of equipment will be had.

Q: Is speed the priority?

Yes – It’s super automatic all the way for you then. Do not buy a semi-automatic.

No – Then you may consider models from both categories.

The higher quality super automatic espresso machines are usually the faster ones because they either have two boilers or they contain technology that allows for quick water heat recovery.

Because they are bean to cup with one button, no time will be wasted with manual espresso pulling or milk steaming.  Plus, as long as your dreg bin isn’t full, there is very minimal clean up, if any, with a super automatic home espresso machine.

 

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The Best Stand Mixer

best stand mixer

As an Executive Chef and mom, I have spent thousands of hours in the kitchen. If I have learned anything, it is that to be truly effective, you need an indispensable tool. Meet your new Sous Chef and time-saving wonder, the 6 Quart [amazon_textlink asin=’B00PZU3AEI’ text=’KitchenAid Professional’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’cf08bbf2-0ba7-11e8-ab28-b1935c9e70fa’]Consider this stand mixer your one meal marvel. From making pasta to kneading the dough, you can cook from home like a professional in a quarter of the time. 

Before buying another snazzy piece of kitchen equipment that will be stored in the pantry never to see the light of day, make sure that you purchase a product that works for you. A stand mixer is one of the most versatile pieces you can add to your kitchen. Check out our review below of the [amazon_textlink asin=’B005Z2KNG4′ text=’KitchenAid Professional 600 Series’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’249e85d1-0ba8-11e8-894b-43f3c8f10cbe’], [amazon_textlink asin=’B0015ZLT2C’ text=’Hamilton Beach 63232 Eclectrics’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’41b396ec-0ba8-11e8-be8a-fdf5cba0ad90′], and the [amazon_textlink asin=’B000ON65XO’ text=’Cuisinart SM-70BC ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’5788bb74-0ba8-11e8-b328-f90205862735′]to find the stand mixer that will be the one thing that works harder in the kitchen than you.

Chef's Choice for top Stand Mixer is the KitchenAid Professional 600 Series.

Stand Mixers: How They Measure Up

After using, breaking, and testing every stand mixer imaginable, my top pick is the [amazon_textlink asin=’B005Z2KNG4′ text=’KitchenAid Professional 600 Series’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’900ad3c2-0ba8-11e8-b71d-fb1d2fc78ffe’], hands down. In form, function, and durability it has far surpassed other market competitors. However, the cost makes this stand mixer seem like a small investment. Compared to the [amazon_textlink asin=’B000ON65XO’ text=’Cuisinart SM-70BC’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a55e454e-0ba8-11e8-9e2d-bbed9e0070ff’] and the [amazon_textlink asin=’B0015ZLT2C’ text=’Hamilton Beach 63232 Eclectrics’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’bc55f03d-0ba8-11e8-9f22-8be6c98ec7cb’], it is!

As the favored tool by home and professional cooks, the [amazon_textlink asin=’B01LYV1U30′ text=’KitchenAid Professional Series’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’db118665-0ba8-11e8-aaa8-5f20ea9ddecf’] provides more bang for your buck in the long run. Time is money. If there is one thing this stand mixer achieves, it is saving you time. It should also be noted that finding parts and people to fix your mixer is a cinch.

This baby is intended to last. The [amazon_textlink asin=’B00PZU3AEI’ text=’KitchenAid Professional Series’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’edfafc5c-0ba8-11e8-b6c5-07d30445ec5a’] Stand Mixers in my restaurant typically last 6-7 years. I can assure you, my chefs work them to their full capacity 8-12 hours a day. Durability is one of the many perks.

Functionality

It juices, beats, kneads, whips and so much more. In fact, the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00PZU3AEI’ text=’KitchenAid Professional Series’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’04836ade-0ba9-11e8-b251-61b24ac14188′] does so much, it is difficult to imagine what it can’t do.

Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart, and the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00PZU3AEI’ text=’KitchenAid stand mixers’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’19f4285a-0ba9-11e8-b5f8-e9dfb7b19d6d’] come equipped with three standard accessories: a dough hook, a whisk, and a paddle. For your basic baking tasks, this typically does the trick. With these tools, you can make bread, whip up meringue, and create batch after fabulous batch of home-made cookies.

Modern stand mixers are the backbone of any efficient kitchen. Consider your swanky mixer a foundational piece. There are an extraordinary variety of versatile attachment pieces that you can buy to upgrade your mixer. This is one of my favorite features as a chef.

Throwing a party and want to show off your mad cooking skills by rolling out your own pasta? You don’t need to purchase a pasta roller, simply purchase the attachment and add it to your machine! Pssstttt…here is a little chef secret: the attachments often work better than DIY.

Stand Mixer Attachment Comparison

   Each of the three stand mixers has separate attachment pieces that you can purchase.

The graph above clearly shows which company offers more upgrades. What it fails to do is explain how truly exceptional some of these attachments are. For example, the [amazon_textlink asin=’B01M7P0DR6′ text=’KitchenAid Pasta Cutter’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’4e13f761-0ba9-11e8-a7ca-77a080155422′] is a three-piece set. Each cutter varies in size to allow for you to make a different type of noodle. Have you ever had home-made pasta? If not, I highly recommend it! Treat your beau or belle to a culinary treat by expanding your repertoire.

The proof is in the pudding. The [amazon_textlink asin=’B00PZU3AEI’ text=’KitchenAid Professional Series’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’368563d3-0ba9-11e8-a1d5-e3d556263a6d’] is the King Koopa of stand mixers. You can easily eliminate the future purchase of additional bulky pieces of equipment by slowly investing in attachment pieces.

 

[amazon_link asins=’B01M63ET64′ template=’Custom’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ text=” link_id=’19141f16-0c61-11e8-bfb1-112d03ef714a’]

Attachments allow you to work smarter not harder. KitchenAid as a company creates innovative and often extravagant upgrades. While a Sausage Stuffer seems like a chef’s dream, it may not be your slice of pie. Below, we take an in-depth view of each stand mixer and their merits.

Chef’s Choice: [amazon_textlink asin=’B00PZU3AEI’ text=’The KitchenAid Professional 600 Series’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’6d16f69d-0ba9-11e8-9604-e39db47011ca’]

 

best stand mixer

 

Looking to up your culinary game or perhaps have a small food venture from home? You may have met your match.

KitchenAid has become a household name synonymous with quality. As a company, they have garnered a reputation for durability and excellence. The [amazon_textlink asin=’B00PZU3AEI’ text=’Pro Series’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7e811fca-0ba9-11e8-8650-6b00886541c1′] maintains that renown by being powerful enough to tackle the most robust and dense mixes.

This elite machine excels where more domestic mixers lag in terms of strength. The Pro Series has established the industry standard. Commercial kitchens across the world are littered with them, as they are an indispensable tool.

With a 578 Watt Motor, this is one sturdy stand mixer. However, one major complaint from online reviewers has been its power. The intensity of the motor makes it a rather loud choice. Compared to the hustle and bustle of a busy kitchen, I have personally never found it overtly offensive.

Features & Specs.

Motor Strength: 578 Watts; Ideal for high-volume or commercial setting, designed for large quantities of food being prepared in a short time span. Think…Thanksgiving.

Speed Settings: This model has 10 speeds (perfect for whipping dry and/or wet ingredients). If you are worried about the strength of the mixer being overbearing for your more delicate home projects, I recommend using a lower setting.

Bowl: Equipped with a 6-quart stainless steel bowl. It is capable of combining 13 dozen cookies in a single mix. Not that it is not dishwasher safe.

Size: Weighing in at a whopping 29 pounds, the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00PZU3AEI’ text=’Pro Series’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a04b0675-0ba9-11e8-9c60-6b894a29c7a2′] is fairly heavy. The weight allows for it to remain firmly on your counter-top without shaking while trying to battle batter.

It is 17 inches tall. While this may not seem like much, if you plan on placing it in between a counter and cabinet, it may be a tight fit. It’s important to note that the bowl-lift feature does not change the height. The bowl itself moves, but the head remains at 17″ tall.

Unique Features: 

  • Bowl-Lift Feature: The head of the mixer is stationary, meaning there is no hinge to swing your head back. Advocates for this feature have typically had problems in the past with faulty hinges on the tilting head feature of other models. There is a lever of the side of the machine that draws the bowl into place. The bowl itself snaps on with two clamps on each side. A bowl-lift supports heavier doughs and batters while allowing the machine to remain firm and steady on your counter-top.
  • One feature that exhibits the meticulous care taken to create a functional design is the head size. The head of a bowl-lift mixer is smaller. If you have ever whipped up an Italian Meringue, you can appreciate this characteristic. Some mixes require you to add a liquid to your batter while it is being mixed. If the head is too large, it makes it difficult to pour directly in between the whisk and bowl. The head of this stand mixer is narrow enough to see what you are doing and make a clean pour.

Additional Features: The Pro Series is available in 29 colors.

 

Consumer Reviews:

At the end of the day, the most important review is yours. The [amazon_textlink asin=’B00PZU3AEI’ text=’KitchenAid Professional’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’eb318696-0ba9-11e8-94b2-33ba6ce26646′] generally receives a 4-5 star rating. Majority of the less than stellar reviews are not on the product itself, but of the customer service that KitchenAid provides. Another key complaint has been that many of the pieces are not dishwasher safe. I know in my house, a dishwasher friendly product is a MUST! Hand washing each piece covered in batter is not a job I look forward to.

 

 

[amazon_link asins=’B00PZU3AEI’ template=’Custom’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ text=” link_id=’953beede-0c50-11e8-8000-39ac4886c917′]

 

The Practical Choice: [amazon_textlink asin=’B000ON65XO’ text=’Cuisinart SM-70BC’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’042f3abb-0baa-11e8-a4d2-bfa86e9c3aad’]

 

The [amazon_textlink asin=’B000ON65XO’ text=’Cuisinart SM-70BC’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’0e0a93c2-0baa-11e8-aaa8-5f20ea9ddecf’] is an exceptional stand mixer for the home baker or chef. If you are looking for a practical choice that hits all of the marks in quality and design without breaking the bank, this may be the mixer for you.

Cuisinart is a universally recognized brand proclaimed by many top chefs as their company of choice. The company has made great leaps and strides in the culinary community by making working in the kitchen less of a task. The [amazon_textlink asin=’B000ON65XO’ text=’Cuisinart Sm-70BC’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a84fd4ec-0baa-11e8-b805-f1dfe51e74d0′] stand mixer holds true to those ideals.

Almost every feature was created with you in mind. From its dishwasher safe pieces to the tilt-head design, this is probably one of the most practical stand mixers on the market. However, it’s difficult not to notice that the difference in cost between it and the KitchenAid is less than $100.

This mixer has some incredible features that may help you to overlook the cost comparison. With chefs like Julia Child and Jacques Pepin endorsing Cuisinart, it can not be dismissed as a useful tool created for the home cook.

Features & Specs.

Motor Strength: 

At 1000 Watts, this is the strongest motor available on the home consumer market. This mixer packs a punch! One of the primary complaints from consumers is the loud noise that comes with having such a powerful motor. But with 1000 Watts under the hood, the noise is to be expected. Created to withstand heavy-duty usage for long lengths of time, this is a great mixer for someone who cooks and hosts large parties.

Speed Settings: 

This model has 12 different speed settings. From creaming your butter to kneading heavier pizza doughs, customers have found that the power is not overwhelming. The [amazon_textlink asin=’B000ON65XO’ text=’Cuisinart’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ecedf172-0bab-11e8-b7c2-93a89171caf3′] cannot hold up against extra large batches, despite the manufacturer’s claims and motor size. Their claim says it can hold enough mix for 4-5 loaves of bread. I do not recommend making more than 2 loaves at a time.

Personally, I really liked using this mixer in my own home. Despite its lacking strength capacity, I found that the speed settings were crafted delicately and were able to handle smaller projects, offering an even mix. The best part was the slow start. Rather than immediately jumping into action throwing your ingredients everywhere, the[amazon_textlink asin=’B000ON65XO’ text=’ Cuisinart stand mixer ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’03cf7d13-0bac-11e8-be1d-b39e9f31e05f’]slowly comes to life. As anyone experienced in the kitchen knows, this is a massive bonus.

Bowl: 

It comes standard with a 7-quart stainless steel basin. The bowl itself is dishwasher safe, making it user-friendly. However, an odd feature is the handles. The handles resemble those on a large stockpot, short and stubby located on the top of the bowl. I found the handles cumbersome and awkward to maneuver but that might just be me.

Size: 

It weighs only 25.1 pounds, despite its large motor. That is an impressive feat by the engineers at Cuisinart. The height measures 14.5 inches tall. It is important to note that this is a tilt head mixer. Therefore, when locked in place it may be 14.5 inches tall, but when you lift the head to remove the bowl, it becomes much taller. If you would like to house the [amazon_textlink asin=’B000ON65XO’ text=’Cuisinart’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’1a09cb22-0bac-11e8-8a19-079343293a1b’] under a cabinet, add an additional 6 inches to your measurements to ensure that it properly fits the space.

Unique Features: 

  • Slow Start Function: As I mentioned earlier, this is a winning feature. Start your machine and watch as it slowly gains speed rather than instantaneously revving to life. This company keeps the home cook in mind, allowing you to slowly incorporate your ingredients while keeping your workspace tidy.
  • Gentle Fold Function: This is a slow speed function that has become iconic with Cuisinart. The fold motion enables you to manage the creation of gluten in your baked goods. Think of it as a smart design that attempts to go the extra mile.
  • 15 Minute Countdown Timer:  At 1000 Watts, the machine is not very energy efficient. Cuisinart recognizes the enormous draw on energy that their mixer requires. To that end, they have created the 15 Minute Countdown Timer which will automatically shut off your machine after the 15 minutes expire. The drawback is that when you have a mixture that requires more time, your machine may still decide to stop mixing. This feature will help you not to over-mix, but in the case of some doughs, your project may be under-mixed.
  • 3 Power Outlets: For me, this was a design flaw. The [amazon_textlink asin=’B000ON65XO’ text=’Cuisinart SM-70BC ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’2fcc7920-0bac-11e8-b18c-37998b2a430e’]comes with three different outlets. One is for the machine itself. The other two are in case you decide to purchase some of their more heavy-duty attachments, which require these additional outlets. It is difficult not to make the argument that [amazon_textlink asin=’B00PZU3AEI’ text=’KitchenAid’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’3e0c6403-0bac-11e8-92af-6704fe0f0bec’] has managed to achieve the same function without the spare hardware.

Additional Features:

  • Tilt-Back Head: There are two types of stand mixers: Tilt-Back Head and Bowl-Lift. There are lovers on each side of the fence. Tilt-back heads are used on lighter models, which makes it an odd choice for such a heavy duty piece of equipment. It is widely accepted that the tilt-back head is a more user-friendly feature, which does fall in line with the companies precepts.
  • Accompanying DVD and Manual.
  • There seems to be disagreement on how many colors are available. The most cited is that there are three available options. I have only owned one, so I wouldn’t call myself the color authority on this one.

Cuisinart Pro/Con graph based on a side by side comparison with the KitchenAid 600 Professional Stand MIxer

Consumer Reviews: 

There are a plethora of reviews available on the internet about this product. Most tend to swing heavily against or in support of the [amazon_textlink asin=’B000ON65XO’ text=’Cuisinart 70 Series’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’4deb0b3d-0bac-11e8-95e2-3135333cb63e’].

The majority of consumers against this model generally cite the machine as not being able to keep up with company claims. It seems that the motor’s strength, despite its size, cannot keep up with larger batches, causing many mixers to burn out. In an effort to smooth out their reputation with consumers, Cuisinart offers a 5-Year Motor Warranty. This warranty goes beyond industry standards and builds the customer’s confidence in the brand. From a consumer standpoint, this is a great way to build brand loyalty. Who doesn’t love a 5-year guarantee?

 

[amazon_link asins=’B000ON65XO’ template=’Custom’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ text=” link_id=’71e42cb2-0c61-11e8-8971-9740c6099bb1′]

The Value Choice: [amazon_textlink asin=’B0015ZLT2C’ text=’Hamilton Beach Eclectrics 63232 ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’5abf0a83-0bac-11e8-b8c3-61b99dd87c51′]

 

 

If you are looking for a more cost-conscious choice, there is always the [amazon_textlink asin=’B0015ZLT2C’ text=’Hamilton Beach 63232 Eclectrics Model’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’68e50571-0bac-11e8-b71a-c5c0c058b1d9′]. Its sleek vintage exterior matched with a price meant to sell make it impossible to ignore.

With this ultra-minimalist stand mixer, Hamilton Beach serves up an option that the larger companies have neglected. Constructed of the same die-cast metal as its competitors, this resourceful model is a great addition for budding bakers and cooks who want the efficiency of a machine within a reasonable price range. Hamilton Beach is a lauded American appliance manufacturer with a reputation for providing quality equipment.

Currently, this model is being sold at large retailers across the nation with the help of elite chef endorsements by the leading lady herself, Rachel Ray. It has gained a loyal following of seasoned chefs and newbie cooks as a durable model that has enough gusto to get the job done at home!

Features & Specs.

Motor Strength:

The motor functions at 400 Watts. Don’t let the number scare you away. The ultra industrial [amazon_textlink asin=’B00PZU3AEI’ text=’KitchenAid Professional’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’86f3923e-0bac-11e8-8ddf-e3e64c3bd588′] only runs at 575 Watts. Wattage has become marketing propaganda that has been seriously misconstrued to the consumer. Wattage only indicates how much power the motor will consume, not the amount of power it can produce.

Consumer reviews and my own experience in using the machine allows me to tell you that this adorable chic mixer actually can compete with the competition in terms of motor strength. However, it is good to keep in mind that this piece of equipment was not intended for high-volume jobs. It is a home mixer.

Speed Settings: 

This model of stand mixer has 12 different speed settings, offering you the flexibility to determine what works best for your culinary project. I have found that for every mix and dough there is a setting available on this quality mixer that will match.

Bowl:

Equipped with a 5-quart bowl complete with a splash guard to protect you and your counters from unnecessary spills. The stainless steel bowl is dishwasher safe for fast clean up. An added benefit is the elongated easy access handle. Its sleek design allows for a firm comfortable grip.

Size: 

In a continued effort to create an optimal home appliance, this model is 18.83 pounds, which makes it rather light by comparison. The true value is the size. For most people, finding enough counter space to house a stand mixer is a problem. At only 12″ tall, this power-house can virtually live anywhere in your kitchen. Due to its conveniently compact size, the fact that it is also a tilt-head mixer should play little part in your decision on where to place your new sous-chef.

Unique Features:

  • Depending on where you purchase the machine, it comes with an industry standard 1- 3 Year Limited Warranty.
  • Planetary Mixing Action: I am sure you have heard this industry buzz word by now. If you haven’t, this is just technical speak for the way the beater spins. Older models of stand mixers have a beater that remains up-right and turns 360 degrees. Planetary mixing is when your machine orbits the bowl on its own axis. Quite like how to the earth revolves around the sun…planetary. Planetary mixing allows for a more fluid mix and a more thoroughly combined end product.
  • 2 Way Rotating Mixing Action: I can not verify that this feature necessarily creates a better batter, but I can tell you that it is pretty cool to use.

Additional Features:

  • Tilt-Back Head: The size of the [amazon_textlink asin=’B0015ZLT2C’ text=’Hamilton Beach Eclectrics’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a2133c35-0bac-11e8-9960-a791d0f3a394′] mixed with the tilt-back feature is a strong selling point. Its petite size allows you to open the head hinge and replace the attachments without concern for placement between cabinets. What a luxury! Have I mentioned that a tilt-back is the far cleaner option? A bowl-lift forces you to maneuver the attachment beaters on and off in an impossible manner. A tilt-back does just as the name implies. Tilt the head back and allow the batter to flow from the beater back into the bowl.
  • Each Hamilton stand mixer is hand finished then sealed with a protective coating. I don’t know about you, but anytime a company says that they do anything by hand, they gain some respect points.

 

Consumer Reviews:

Nearly 3/4 of customers give the[amazon_textlink asin=’B0015ZLT2C’ text=’ Hamilton Beach Eclectrics 63232 ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’96d609fa-0bac-11e8-9e8f-b7858eaa9102′]model a 5-star rating. Some of the less than savory reviews complain about the product burning out within 1-4 uses. This is a huge issue.

In purchasing a value model, it is important to keep your warranty and receipts in case your machine falters. Many of the same people whose machines had issues also spoke highly of the customer service they received from Hamilton Beach.

[amazon_link asins=’B0015ZLT2C’ template=’Custom’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ text=” link_id=’bbd01f6a-0c61-11e8-a9fa-c94b7b19bab7′]

And The Stand Mixer Award Goes To…

It should come as no surprise that of the three stand mixers that we reviewed, the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00PZU3AEI’ text=’KitchenAid Professional’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b55f1ddc-0bac-11e8-8448-15134cd15b15′] gets our vote of confidence. As a company and product, this machine goes above and beyond the industry standards, saving you an enormous amount of money along the way.

This model encompasses all that a kitchen appliance can hope to achieve. It’s powerful motor, bowl size, attachment selection, and massive versatility make this our choice for the Best Stand Mixer. Whether in a commercial kitchen or at home, your time is valuable. Choose a product that works as hard as you do.

Are you a super foodie and want the DL on the hottest products to hit food? Check out our article on The Best Food Dehydrators and explore a whole new realm of satisfaction.

FAQs

Q: Are KitchenAid Attachments Universal? 

A:  Yes and no. Any KitchenAid attachment can be used on any other KitchenAid Stand Mixer. That is a company guarantee. Although, you can’t use your super Sausage Stuffer on a Cuisinart, as the two are not compatible.

Q: What is the best way to clean my stand mixer? 

A: There is no one size fits all answer to this question. Be sure to check out the manual that came with your specific mixer to ensure that you maintain the hardware properly. At home and at my restaurant, I clean all of my mixer attachments by hand, despite claims that it may be dishwasher safe. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?

Q: How much can my [amazon_textlink asin=’B00PZU3AEI’ text=’KitchenAid Professional’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’c7767687-0bac-11e8-9aab-e7e647a1d4c5′] really hold? 

A: At home, I push my mixer to the limits. Unlike many competitors, the company’s claims hold up. If your model says it can make 8 loaves of bread, then it really does make 8 loaves of bread without straining your machine. Be sure to read the manual that came with your specific model.