Hack a Toaster Oven for Reflow Soldering – The Convection Option

Toaster ovens are becoming more and more popular these days and for very good reason. There are several key factors that make the toaster oven so appealing, and understanding them will help when deciding on whether or not to use one in your home. The following is a list of the most important facts about toaster ovens and they will cover both the pros, as well as the cons, of purchasing one for yourself.

One of the biggest benefits to using a toaster oven is its energy saving ability. The average toaster oven will function properly on 1,500 watts of power whereas the average electric oven needs 7,500 watts of power if it is to operate normally. Keep in mind however, that a standard toaster will function on 900 watts of power, so preparing your morning toast might be better done in the toaster. However, cooking a roast for dinner can easily be accomplished in a toaster oven, and energy will be saved in the process.

The Space Issue

There is no question when it comes to the toaster oven’s ability to save on space. A toaster oven is typically 1/4 the size of a standard oven and that can be very important when dealing with a small kitchen. This also makes the toaster oven very portable which means that it can easily be moved back and forth between storage and counter top, as needed. Keep in mind however, that a toaster oven should never be setup against the wall as it can get very hot in that area.

The Maintenance Issue

Maintaining a toaster oven is much easier than maintaining the standard size oven, as long as it is done properly. Make sure that the oven is cooled down completely before cleaning it. Check for a nonstick coating on the inside of the oven. If a nonstick coat is present, use soap and water to clean it out. Strong chemicals can eat away at the coating, removing it permanently. Keep in mind that most toaster ovens have a removable tray at the bottom that is used to catch crumbs. Simply remove the tray, empty the crumbs, wipe out the tray and place it back into the appropriate slot.

The Convection Option

While the next fact isn’t standard in all toaster ovens, it is typical in many. Convection ovens have always been something to be desired by those who frequent the kitchen, but they have always been very expensive. Many toaster ovens now include a convection option which simply means that the owner of a toaster oven will have easy access to a portable convection oven as well. Anyone who knows what a convection oven is capable of knows that cooking times can be cut in half when a convection oven is used properly. Keep in mind however, that using the convection oven option will require definite adjustments to the cooking time, and technique, if food is to be prepared properly.

Good Meat Slicer for Home Use

Food-SlicerA meat slicer is a great way to save money and time when cooking. When you buy roasts or large cuts of meat you can slice the meat prior to freezing. This way you plan can use the meats for several meals. When freezing large batches of vegetables it helps to slice tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, and other vegetables for easy packing. A meat slicer shaves ham and other meats or poultry thin for serving at dinner instead of using a carving knife.

The Chefs Choice International 627 VariTilt Food Slicer tilts to make it easy to slice meats and cheese. The special 30 degree tilting lets you slice fruit, bread, and vegetables with ease. The 7 inch stainless steel blade is easy to clean and remove for consumers. The thickness knob adjusts letting you slice thin to a thickness of about 3/5 of an inch. It is not recommended to clean parts in the dishwasher. It comes with a plastic tray for food when slicing.

Continental PS77711 Professional Series Deli Slicer is a made with of stainless steel and cast iron for durability. This machine has a 150 watt motor that gives its power to slice meats, cheese, and vegetables. The blade is very sharp and slices meats extra thin when desired.. It is easy to clean with a wet cloth. Some parts have to be removed using a screw driver. Plastic parts may be needed to be replaced.

Chefs Choice 610 Food Slicer is made of with aluminum and stainless steel. It has a high powered motor and seven inch steel blade that slices thin to 3/4 inches thick. It is a large size and has the capacity to tilt giving you fast accurate slicing. All parts are easy to remove and clean. It is classified as a premium food slicer. It easily slices extra large roasts, or hams with ease.

MamiMatic EMT-503 Elite Gourmet Food Slicer is made of die cast aluminum and is black. This model slices cold cuts, meats, cheese, and vegetables very thin or up to 1/2 inch thick. It has a 75 inch steel blade that is easy to remove. This model has a food tray for food items when slicing. The plastic parts break and may need to be replaced. Overall this works well for common food items. It is easy to clean.

Chef Choice 615 Premium Food Slicer is made of stainless steel and cast aluminum. The stainless steel blade slices thin and up to 3/4 inches thick. All parts are easy to to remove for cleaning. It is easy to use to slice meats or cheese for large trays or platters. A serving tray is included with this machine. It slices large roasts and hams with ease for holidays and entertaining. It is easy to clean and take apart.

A electric food slicer is a handy tool for home cooks that want to prepare meats and vegetable to freeze. The added bonus is that it slices the food thin for various recipes.

How to Find the Best Bread Machine

How-to-Find-the-Best-Bread-MachineFor homeowners that wish to make their own home made bread, making the decision of acquiring a bread machine is an excellent idea. A bread machine can automatically make home bread effortlessly, all that is required from the user is the correct measurements of ingredients and the proper customization of the program, in order to receive the desired results. With that said the type of bread machine you will purchase will vary in price from approximately $50-$300, all depending on the type of bread you wish to create. Here are a few things to consider when comparing bread machines.

Loaves created from bread machines contain no added synthetic preservatives like the ones used in commercially available bread and as such, it does not last as very long in comparison. One thing to consider when comparing bread machines is how big of a loaves you need. The typical bread machine creates loaves ranging from 1-5 pounds. While there are a few machines that cater to one specific size such as 1.5 pounds, which is sufficient for a family of 2-4 people, there’s a wide selection of machines that offer the selection of up to 2-3 sizes.

All bread machines offer some level of programming, while the traditional programming usually only consisted of selecting the option of light or dark crust, kneed dough without baking, etc, with the advent of modern innovations, many manufacturers now offer a deeper level of customization. Some bread machines offer a more sophisticated level of programming that gives the user an option of creating specific types of breads such as: art breads, sweet breads, french breads and many more. They are able to do this because some bread machines have built in programs that give details of the specific ingredients needed to create your bread of choice, along with a time indicator that signals the best time to add those specific ingredients during the process.

While the traditional bread makers were recognized upon site due to the fact that it created only one specific shape of bread. Modern bread machines can cater to a wide variety of sizes and shapes of loaves, ranging from the commonly known rectangular commercially available loaves, down to more horizontal loaves that’s mostly associated with subway’s infamous 12 inch footlong. Some machines even give the option of creating other things such as pizza dough, cakes and even Jam.

So in a nutshell whenever you’re comparing bread machines, the three main things you need to consider are the shapes of the breads you will need such as vertical or horizontal, the weight of the bread you need and the level of customization you require.

De’Longhi 2.2 lb Cool-Touch Roto Deep Fryer

De-LonghiDoes the thought of a deep fryer for your kitchen sound messy to you? Have you tried a home fryer and thought, no thanks? As much as you may like fried food for special occasions, the mess can make you order out! Splattered oil all over the kitchen is simply not a draw for busy families, and when you are entertaining, the very last thing you need is more mess! But, now you really have no excuse. There is a product, the De’Longhi 2.2 Roto Deep Fryer, that will completely change your mind about home-based deep fryers. Check out the following amazing features!

Closed unit

Since it is a closed unit, the clean up does not feel so overwhelming. And the clean oil draining system makes the whole process a breeze. Not an easy thing to say after my history with attempts at fried foods! All you need to do is pull out the attached hose that is stored in the front of the fryer and then drain the used oil into an oil collecting container. Easy, safe and not even a fraction of the messy ordeal I used to deal with when cooking fried treats.

Filtration system

There is a dual filtration system complete with replacement filters to aid in cleanup. The filtration also does wonders for the lingering odors of frying food at home. This perk is easy to miss if you have never attempted fried foods at home. If you have, then the difference is amazing. Now you can actually surprise your friends with a yummy selection of fried foods without letting the odors give it away first!

Safety features

Aside from easy clean up and odor free cooking, safety is another big concern with frying foods. Thankfully with this unit there is nothing to worry about. The non-slip feet and cool touch exterior calm my fears and the nifty magnetic cord is a wonderful feature. If the cord is ever pulled on by a child, or snagged by a clumsy cook, it detaches easily.

Temperature controls

Being able to easily set the thermostat between 300 and 370 degrees means your food will turn out just the way you expect each and every time. If you want to check on the foods while cooking, just peak into the windowed lid to view the progress.

Compact enough

Although this unit has a generous 2.5 pound capacity, it is compact and takes up little room on your counter. But if you do need to move the unit, the stay-cool exterior walls and handy side handles are completely safe to touch, even while frying your favorite foods.

Great gift idea

When you need to find a gift for that hard to by young adult or family that has everything, this is the perfect idea. Wrap it up with a few dishtowels and it will be a guaranteed hit! College kids and empty nest adults alike will enjoy this unique gift. It will be like giving them an ongoing gift of inexpensive treats! Egg rolls, onion petals, french fries and even concoctions like fried Twinkies can be popped in the unit for impressive meals every time. And every time they enjoy their delicious food, they will think of you!

Overall, the De’Longhi 2.2 lb Roto Deep Fryer is well worth the price. It is a sturdy, value packed unit that will quickly pay for itself with the money you will save from not have to order for take-out. Try new recipes, experiment with fun party foods and all without the mess or hassle of typical home frying methods.