October 31, 2014

High-Tech Transparent Toaster

Have you heard the phrase “It’s as exciting as watching paint dry?”
Well this toaster has that activity beat. Now you can sit and watch your toast brown.

Bread is placed between two sheets of heated glass and cooked in full view so you can eject your slice at the perfect moment. No more burnt toast, or re-toasts (You know those – when the toast is not quite done enough so you put it back in and end up with charcoal.)

A traditional timer dial caters for users who are too busy to keep an eye on their bread. The kitchen appliance has a chrome base and neatly cut glass, meaning it should not look out of place in any modern kitchen.

The design allows for only one slice to be toasted at a time and the glass might be difficult to keep sparkling clean.

But it’s a better use of time than watching the grass grow.

Dishwasher Lasagna

If you read our post on cooking a turkey in the dishwasher and you tried it, we have a second cooking adventure for you: A Lasagna!

A man named Pete at The Warp and The Weft has the whole project mapped out. We’ll share some of it here for you:

The basic steps are as follows and can be found at wikihow.com:

Ingredients:
* 1/2 jar of favorite pasta sauce
* 3 fresh lasagna pasta sheets (or ‘oven ready’ lasagna sheets)
* 1/2 16.8 oz container of Ricotta cheese
* 1/2 package of mixed grated cheese
* 1 cup freshly chopped spinach
* Garlic
* Onion flakes
* Fine herbs

Steps

1.
Cut three 24-inch x 12-inch sheets of aluminum foil and lie flat.
2.
Take first lasagna sheet and place flat it in the center of the aluminum foil.
3.
Spread a thick layer of pasta sauce over the sheet, covering the entire surface.
4.
In a bowl, mix the ricotta cheese and spinach and layer half the mixture on top of the tomato sauce.
5.
Layer desired amount of grated cheese, along with fine herbs, garlic, and onion flakes.


6.
Top with second lasagna sheet and repeat all layers.
7.
Cut third lasagna sheet into strips about 3/8-inch wide and layer on top of lasagna in a criss cross fashion. Top with herbs and spices.
8.
Wrap lasagna tightly in the foil by taking the longest sides of the foil and bringing them to meet above the lasagna.
9.
Fold the edges of the foil together to make a ‘paper bag’ effect (like that you would when folding a brown paper lunch bag)above the lasagna. Begin to fold the edges together downward until you are just above the lasagna.
10.
Flatten the foil out above the lasagna and fold in the remaining sides like a present, first the sides, then the middle.
11.
Place the wrapped lasagna flat in your dishwasher on the bottom rack.


12. Set dishwasher to normal cycle and select ‘heated dry’ and ‘sanitize; settings for maximum heat.

13.Wait for the cycle to complete, then carefully remove lasagna from foil and let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Pete ran into a couple glitches, let us know how yours turns out!

Cook Your Holiday Turkey in the Dishwasher

Here’s something to do while the kids are home from school and you have vacation-itis. Entertain the folks with dinner cooked in the dishwasher.

Cooking Method & Considerations

Allow one 50-minute cycle for every 2lb of weight. Hermetically seal a seasoned turkey inside several appropriate turkey-sized oven bags.

Place the turkey in the dishwasher to steam-cook.

When cooking a turkey, ensure that the temperature of the meat doesn’t rise above the recommended 145f by using a meat thermometer.

Test Run

As a trial run, a 5lb supermarket chicken was cooked in the dishwasher providing impressive results: firm, tender, moist breast meat.

Two cycles were used, and the bird was finished off in the oven to brown and crisp the skin.

Getting a whole turkey cooked this way might take all day, so Electrolux (where I found this wacky idea) suggests their Steam Combination oven as a quicker, (saner?) option.

Win a Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker

The holiday season and food. They seem to be inseparable. One way to make the job of cooking for the holidays easier is to let your appliances do the work for you. If you own a slow cooker, you know how nice it is to come home to dinner- ready to eat. You can use that same strategy for your holiday entertaining.

Potluck parties are popular now too. Hamilton Beach’s Stay or Go slow cooker has a clip to hold the lid in place so you can take your hot dish along without a mess.

FamilyCircle and Parents magazines are offering this slow cooker, along with the FamilyCircle slow cooker meals cookbook to eighteen winners of their “Put the ‘Happy’ Back in the Holidays” contest. Click here to enter.

Turkey Roasting Tips

Roasting a turkey requires an appliance – your oven, a BBQ, an electric roaster, or if you’re looking for a riskier approach, a deep fryer. If you are going the traditional route, with an oven roasted bird, we’ve got some tips for you.

* Set your oven temperature no lower than 325 °F.

* Place your turkey or turkey breast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.

* For optimum safety, stuffing a turkey is not recommended. For more even cooking, it is recommended you cook your stuffing outside the bird in a casserole. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the stuffing. The stuffing must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.

* If you choose to stuff your turkey, the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time; however, keep wet and dry ingredients separate. Chill all of the wet ingredients (butter/margarine, cooked celery and onions, broth, etc.). Mix wet and dry ingredients just before filling the turkey cavities. Fill the cavities loosely. Cook the turkey immediately. Use a food thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.

* A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook turkey to higher temperatures.

* If your turkey has a “pop-up” temperature indicator, it is recommended that you also check the internal temperature of the turkey in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast with a food thermometer. The minimum internal temperature should reach 165 °F for safety.

* For quality, let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set. The turkey will carve more easily.

* Remove all stuffing from the turkey cavities.

Timetables for Turkey Roasting
(325 °F oven temperature)

Use the timetables below to determine how long to cook your turkey. These times are approximate. Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your turkey and stuffing.

Unstuffed
4 to 8 pounds (breast) 1½ to 3¼ hours
8 to 12 pounds 2¾ to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3¾ hours
14 to 18 pounds 3¾ to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4½ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4½ to 5 hours

Stuffed
4 to 6 pounds (breast) Not usually applicable
6 to 8 pounds (breast) 2½ to 3½ hours
8 to 12 pounds 3 to 3½ hours
12 to 14 pounds 3½ to 4 hours
14 to 18 pounds 4 to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4¾ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4¾ to 5¼ hours

It is safe to cook a turkey from the frozen state. The cooking time will take at least 50 percent longer than recommended for a fully thawed turkey. Remember to remove the giblet packages during the cooking time. Remove carefully with tongs or a fork.

Optional Cooking Hints

* Tuck wing tips under the shoulders of the bird for more even cooking. This is referred to as “akimbo.”

* Add ½ cup of water to the bottom of the pan.

* If your roasting pan does not have a lid, you may place a tent of heavy-duty aluminum foil over the turkey for the first 1 to 1 ½ hours. This allows for maximum heat circulation, keeps the turkey moist, and reduces oven splatter. To prevent overbrowning, foil may also be placed over the turkey after it reaches the desired color.

* If using an oven-proof food thermometer, place it in the turkey at the start of the cooking cycle. It will allow you to check the internal temperature of the turkey while it is cooking. For turkey breasts, place thermometer in the thickest part. For whole turkeys, place in the thickest part of the inner thigh. Once the thigh has reached 165 °F, check the wing and the thickest part of the breast to ensure the turkey has reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F throughout the product.

* If using an oven cooking bag, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on the package.

For more advice on turkey defrosting, prepping and safety visit the USDA’s Food safety site.

Recall: Fire and Burn Hazards Prompt Recall of Gas Grills Sold at Lowe’s Stores

Name of Product: Perfect Flame SLG Series Gas Grills

Units: About 663,000 in the United States and about 1,700 in Canada

Importer: L G Sourcing, Inc., of North Wilkesboro, N.C.

Manufacturer: Lucas Innovation Inc., of China

Hazard: The burners can deteriorate causing irregular flames and the lids of some models can catch fire, posing fire and burn hazards to the consumer.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received about 40 reports of fires from the burners deteriorating and about 23 reports of the lids catching fire. The firm is aware of one report of an eye injury requiring surgery and 21 incidents of minor burns to the hands, arms or face.

Description: The recalled grills are SLG series “Perfect Flame” brand outdoor propane or natural gas grills. The grills are stainless steel and painted black or gray metal. The model numbers affected by this recall are listed below. The model number can be found in the compartment under the cooking chamber. No other Perfect Flame model numbers are included in this recall.

Model Replacement Burners Replacement Lid
SLG2006B Yes No
SLG2006BN Yes No
SLG2006C Yes No
SLG2006CN Yes No
SLG2007A Yes Yes
SLG2007B Yes Yes
SLG2007BN Yes Yes
SLG2007D Yes No
SLG2007DN Yes No
SLG2008A Yes Yes

Sold exclusively at: Lowe’s retail outlets nationwide from September 2005 through May 2009 for between $200 and $550 (U.S.) and in Canada from December 2007 through May 2009 for between $200 and $250 (CAN).

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the product and contact L G Sourcing to receive free replacement burners and, depending on the model of the grill owned, a free replacement lid.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact the firm toll-free at (888) 840-9590 anytime, or visit www.lowes.com

Note: Health Canada’s press release can be seen at: http://cpsr-rspc.hc-sc.gc.ca/PR-RP/recall-retrait-eng.jsp?re_id=860

Disposable Appliances?

It’s a complaint of a generation – “They don’t make ‘em like they used to” It seems that appliances, both large and small, fall into that category. Mark Kinsler shares his take on this in his own home with their latest crockpot:

We immediately learned its fatal flaw, which was it smelled just horrible. I’m an old electronics repairman, and whenever my spouse was cooking beef soup, I’d start looking for faults in our electrical wiring. The new crockpot, all stainless steel and dark ceramic, smelled like a streetcar motor with a burned-out armature winding, and despite the assurances of the factory that the rich aroma would dissipate with use, it did no such thing.

The last straw came two days ago, when my beloved was cooking barbecued chicken. The entire house smelled as if we’d been grilling roulades of printed circuit board, and as good as the finished chicken was, our eyes would burn when we walked into the kitchen.

Ultimately, as so often happens, we gave up. Feeling vaguely disloyal, we shopped yesterday for Crockpot III, one which we hoped had been improved since they manufactured Crockpot II. We found a nice new one with slick electronic controls, an oval shape and a clear, tempered glass lid that lets you watch things simmer. Thirty bucks.

It’s all a bit disappointing, though. In another era, one in which appliances were expensive and somewhat repairable, I’d have taken the old crockpot, drilled out the rivets, found some nichrome wire and some sort of ceramic core and wound a new heating element. Matter of fact, were I actually living in such an era I’d probably still have my little repair shop and I’d have done exactly the same thing for other crockpots.

But we live in 2009 USA, and so we will just go on being materially wealthy in a world where everyone has a color TV with a remote control and a cell phone that takes pictures whether you want it to or not, which is why I have a lot of pictures of the inside of my pocket, and where you can buy appliances without having to save up for them.

She has processed a test-load of baked apples in Crockpot III, and now the kitchen smells like apples, with nary a hint of microprocessor flambé.

And I am grateful: for baked apples, Natalie and even our era.

Here’s my quick barbecue chicken recipe for the crockpot:

Place 4 potatoes cut in quarters, 5-6 peeled and cut carrots and one onion, quartered, in the bottom of your crockpot. Place a chicken, cut up however you prefer, on top and add one bottle of barbecue sauce and half a bottle of beer.

Cook for about 8 hours on low or 5 hours on high, depending on how well done you like your chicken. It’s hard to overcook this dish.

New Jenn-Air Wall Oven Collection

A new collection of Jenn-Air wall ovens includes a model that claims not only the best performance in the industry but several other exclusives, including the only touch screen control with an image-enabled cooking guide. The wall ovens are the centerpieces of a new, high end Jenn-Air appliance line slated for availability this fall.

Based on comparative tests against other super premium brands of wall ovens, the top performing Jenn-Air double wall oven produced consistently superior results, according to Juliet Johnson, manager of brand experience for Jenn-Air. The 7-inch, glass-touch screen is the largest of its kind and features “touch anywhere” technology. An interactive, menu-driven Culinary Center helps cooks achieve desired cooking results by considering a range of details such as the food category, food type, desired doneness and even the type of pan used. Color images illustrating desired doneness levels combined with exclusive visuals showing how and where to insert the temperature probe for variety of dishes offers cooks further assurance that their dishes will be cooked to their specifications.

Other exclusives include the first common cutout fit for a wall oven, allowing for simple installation into virtually any existing wall oven cutout; a “no preheat” feature for cooking many dishes without the need to preheat; and 6,800 watt dual fan convection elements, the most powerful available.

Available in 27- and 30-inch models, the new Jenn-Air wall oven collection includes single, double convection, non-convection and microwave/wall oven combinations. Style choices for the new ovens include the commercial look of Pro-Style stainless steel and the sleek, refined Euro-Style options available in Oiled Bronze, black and white Floating Glass and stainless steel. Suggested retail prices will range from $1,899 to $4,999.