Best Quiet Electric Tea Kettle

Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle

There are many reasons why the Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle gets so many positive reviews online. I give it a 4.8 out of 5 rating because it is one of the best tea kettles I have ever owned. My main reason for buying this kettle in the first place is a bit of a story. Most mornings begin with tea in my house. The humans in the house enjoyed the simplicity of putting a whistling tea pot on the stove. Our dog, however, enjoyed chiming in and howling along with the whistling as the water boiled. This was cute for about a week… and then it was time for a new, quiet tea pot.

Features

The Cuisinart PerfecTemp Electric Kettle is one such kitchen appliance that allows you to enjoy the perfect cup of tea. I love the fact that it features a 1.7 liter capacity that can serve a big family. But there is more than just that. This kettle features 6 preset temperatures so that you can heat your water to that perfect temperature and enjoy different varieties of tea. This is really nice since there is no whistling noise when the water is boiled. You also have the option of setting a lower temperature if you do not want the water to come all the way to a boil.

One-touch controls is something else that makes this the best rated electric tea kettle in the market. It makes it easy to set. The memory feature is also outstanding. This means that you can lift the cattle off the base floor up to 2 minute without shutting down or losing its place in the brewing process.

There is nothing as fulfilling as having a kettle that keeps your tea warm for a second cup. This one has a 30 minute Keep Warm option that keeps the water at the perfect temperature so that your second cup can be as tasty as the first one.

Any type of tea needs to be steeped at the right temperature for it to reach its full flavor. Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle offers that. The 1500-watts allows you to heat -up your tea much faster than you would in other tea kettles.

Design

When buying any kitchen appliance, you need to get something that will add some class to your kitchen. This tea kettle has the design to achieve that. The blue backlit water window adds some sophistication to the design. The stay-cool nonslip handle is something else. It also has a removable/cleanable scale filter. So this is a convenient device to have in your house.

Breville BKE830XL The IQ Kettle Pure

The Breville BKE830XL The IQ Kettle Pure is the other able competitor when it comes to high quality quiet tea kettles. I give this one a 4.6 star ratings because it has everything you need in a kettle. The German Schott glass is the first thing you will notice when you look at this kettle. So it is of high quality and thermal shock resistant.

The other feature I love about this kettle is the soft opening lid. It is safe as it slowly releases steam. So there will be no splashing as experienced in other tea pots. This also has a safety auto shut-off and boil dry protection.

Washing the Breville BKE830XL The IQ Kettle Pure is also easy with its removable scale filter. As for the design, this kettle scores higher than most in the markets as it is simple and also adds some class to your dining table.

The Best Quiet Electric Tea Kettle

Today we reviewed two electric tea kettles on the market today. Both models have automatic shut off and boil dry protection, important safety features. The Breville stands out with a clean, mostly transparent design while the Cuisinart has a generally lower price point. Other than these points the two kettles are very similar.

Best Cat Tea Kettle

Sometimes all you need to complete your morning is some hot tea served from a unique looking teapot. That’s exactly what you get when you buy yourself the Chester The Cat Teapot. I give this teapot a 4.9 star ratings because of its uniqueness.

Chester The Cat Teapot

The fact that this is an FDA approved teapot makes it legit and a must have kitchen appliance. The uniqueness in it can be seen from the hand-painted image of an adorable kitty. Chester’s face is raised to make it look more unique than most kitty teapots in the market. The black and white color also matches a number of theme colors if you have any. So it will rarely feel odd on your dining table or kitchen.

As small as it may look, this is quite a big teapot to serve a few people. It has a capacity of 1 liter to keep you sipping that sweet tea for long. It is also quite small as it measures a height of 5 ¾ inches. So if you have a limited space in your kitchen cabinet, this one fits just perfect. So the best cat tea kettle can be found in Chester The Cat Teapot.

The Chester teapot may also be the perfect gift for that friend or family member who loves cats. The quality of this teapot is something else to talk about. It is made of ceramic which lasts longer than other glass teapots. But to keep on enjoying your tea from this incredible teapot, it is important to note that this is not dishwasher or microwave safe. You are also not expected to use it on the stovetop.

Sunart Tea for one

Also in this category of unique teapots to have in the kitchen is the Sunart Tea for one. This is the type of a teapot you should have if you love cats. I give this a 4.6 because it serves me just right.

Features

The unique black cat design is something that attracts the lovers of tea to it. Most people who buy the Sunart Tea for one simply buy it to decorate the kitchen or add some sense of style to a boring dinning table. It is made from the ceramic material which makes it quite durable as compared to glass teapots.

It is also quite small to fit in your small kitchen cabinet as it only measures W6.4″x D3.8″. This is also the best gift idea for someone who cant do without a cup of tea or one who has a soft spot for cats.

getting the best teapot that can keep your tea hot for longer is not easy. But this being a ceramic tea pot means you can always have that warm cup of tea when you need it. But as much as this teapot helps brighten up your kitchen, it falls short on capacity. As compared to Chester the Cat, this one is quite small. So if you have more than one visitor, you may be forced to change your teapot.

Plastic Free Electric Tea Kettle

There are reasons why the OUUO Cordless Stainless Steel Double Wall Electric Water Kettle has so many positive reviews online. Most people are attracted to the great design it comes in. I love this electric water kettle because it offers nothing but quality services. I give it a 5 star rating because it clearly stands out from the rest as the type of a water kettle you should have. Here is all you need to know about OUUO Cordless water kettle.

OUUO Cordless Stainless Steel Double Wall Electric Water Kettle

Convenience is what you should look for when buying any kitchen appliance. This kettle offers convenience and safety when it comes to boiling water for tea, coffee or instant soup. It comes with an easy on/off switch and an auto shut-off just incase you are absent minded when brewing something.

What I love the most about this device is the fact that it is a cordless kettle. But there is more to this feature that makes this kettle stand out. There is no waiting with this one and you don’t have to worry about any dangling cord. Overheating, accidental spills or boiling dry is a thing of the past.

Sometimes you don’t get the best taste of your tea especially when the hot water comes in contact with plastic. The OUUO Electric Kettle is 100% stainless steel both the interior and the housing. So what you get is the true taste of your tea or coffee.

Plastic Free Electric Kettle

This is a plastic free electric tea kettle with a double wall cool touch stainless steel exterior that adds some style to the design. And speaking of design, the shining nature of this kettle makes it easy to blend in almost any kitchen theme. There is also no scalding hazard. This is one of the few kettles in the market that boils water faster and keeps it warm for longer. It thus saves energy than the traditional water kettle.

This kettle is safe to use as it is made with food grade SUS304 stainless steel. It is recommended that you regularly clean this kettle if you wish to keep off the rusty sports that normally form immediately after use. Just like any other kitchen appliance, you should always clean your OUUO Cordless Stainless Steel Double Wall Electric Water Kettle if you want it to last longer.

Durability is the other aspect that has been emphasized with this kettle. You will notice that every part of this kettle is made from stainless steel. It has a stainless steel lid, pot, spout and the rim. But other than just quality, you will not believe how big this kettle is until you see how it takes down 1.8 liters of water. This means that you have the perfect kettle for a bigger family.

Although some may argue that this is not the cheapest electric water kettle in the market, I think that you get value for your money when you buy this kettle. The best part is that this is an easy to use kettle and anyone can use it.

Best Glass Teapot with Infuser

Glass teapots with infusers and warmers have become popular in the recent past. The teapots have an elegant design with outstanding features.
Everything Zen has created The Perfect Teapot for those who love the finer things in life. Drinking tea is a sacred ritual that is highly valued and appreciated by some people. The Perfect Teapot by Everything Zen is an excellent tea non-drip and high-quality teapot with features that everyone will love.

The 800ml teapot has an elegant design that makes it easy to handle, pour from, and clean. It has a short and easy to clean sprout.
It also has a custom fit bamboo coaster coupled with a stainless steel infuser. The removable stainless steel deep mesh strainer that allows the teabag to submerge fully and remove it easily.
The bamboo coaster at the bottom is stylish and practical. Besides preventing the teapot from sliding when placed on delicate surfaces, it creates an aesthetic appeal to your table.
It is microwave and dishwasher safe, thanks to its 100 percent heat resistant material. Remove the strainer before placing it in the microwave. The glass pot meets the glass thickness standard making it durable.

The Perfect Teapot by Everything Zen gets a 4.5 out of 5 rating because of its improved functionality, elegant design, and ease of use.

Glass Teapot with Glass Infuser

If you are looking for a glass teapot with an infuser, you should consider the GROSCHE Munich 42 oz. Glass Infuser Teapot. The 1250 ml glass infuser teapot can be used with or without the infuser. It is made of high-quality glass eliminating the worry of rusting or clouding.
It is suitable for making blooming or loose leaf tea without altering its taste. Its elegant design and great functionality make it easy to use and clean. The kettle gets a 4.2 out of 5 rating because of its ease of use and functionality.

Glass Teapot with Infuser and Warmer

The Teapot Kettle with Warmer by Willow & Everett is a glass teapot with infuser and warmer. The teapot is designed to keep the tea warmer for longer. The 40-ounce teapot brews 4-5 cups and is microwave-safe. It is made from high-quality hand-blown glass that is durable and heat resistant.
It also has a spill-free lid reducing the risk of annoying messes. It also has rust –free and fine-mesh infuser that prevents any tea leaf sediments from floating inside the pot. We give it a 4.4 out of 5 rating because of its ability to keep the tea warm for long periods.

Bodum Teapot

The Bodum ASSAM 34 Ounce Teapot with Stainless Steel Filter is a glass teapot and infuser combo with an elegant design and enhanced performance. The 34-ounce teapot brews the perfect loose tea and teabags. Its stainless steel filter and elastic rim ensure no kernels or leaves find their way into your cup. It is designed to brew tea to the maximum flavor without removing the infuser. It is dishwasher safe and makes 4-5 cups. We rate it at 4.2 out of 5 stars improved functionality and ability to brew various types of teas.

Best Electric Kettle with Temperature Control

Tea lovers looking for a tea kettle will always be attracted to the design of the kettle. That’s what pulled me closer to the Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp. This is one of the most popular kettles on the market and my personal favorite. I give it a 4.8 out of 5 rating based on a number of features we will discuss in this article. Here is a look at what this great kettle has to offer.

Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle

If you are looking for that perfect cup of tea then you need to get yourself the Cuisinart PerfecTemp Electric Kettle. This is what you need to have especially if you have a bigger family as it holds up to 1.7 liters. Also the fact that it features 6 preset temperatures to heat your water to that perfect temperature makes it stand out from the ordinary tea kettle. So tea lovers can now enjoy different varieties of tea by simply adjusting the temperatures. So this is simply the best electric kettle with temperature control.

Convenience is the other factor you need to consider when looking for a tea kettle. This one has one-touch controls to offer maximum convenience. This feature is what makes it easy to use. The memory feature is the other thing you will love about this product. This allows you to lift the kettle off the base floor up to 2 minutes without shutting down or losing its place in the brewing process. So nothing should interrupt your brewing experience.

Every tea lover wants his cup of tea to be hot or warm at all times. This kettle has 30 minute Keep Warm option that allows you to still keep your second cup of tea as hot as the first one. So you will have the same sweet experience all through until you are satisfied.

In order to enjoy every bit of the flavor, you will have to steep your tea at the right temperatures. This tea kettle allows you to do just that. It is also a 1500-watts kettle that heats up your tea much faster than any other kettle out there.

Design

A number of kitchen appliances in the market strive to add some class to your kitchen. That’s exactly what Cuisinart CPK-17 does. It has a blue backlit water window which adds some sophistication to the design. To add some style to the design is the stay-cool nonslip handle. The convenience of this product is simply outstanding. It is easy to wash thanks to the removable/cleanable scale filter.

Aicok Electric Kettle 1.7 Liter

The Aicok Electric Kettle 1.7 Liter also happens to be the best electric kettle for coffee in the market. I give it a 4.7 star rating because it is almost identical to the Cuisinart CPK-17 especially when it comes to the design. It comes with 6 temperature settings ideal for both coffee and tea lovers.

This one keeps your water hot for up to 2 hours boils at 1500 watts power which means heating up your water will be fast and easy. The only setback with this kettle is that it is quite light in weight as compared to the Cuisinart CPK-17 and therefore may not be the best option for people looking for something robust.

Electric Kettle Without Plastic Parts

The Willow & Everett Electric Gooseneck Kettle is a great electric kettle without plastic parts. Technically the handles are made of BPA-free plastic, but they never come in contact with the heated water you intend to drink. The body, lid and spout are all made of stainless steel. Stainless steel is durable and non-toxic. If you are looking for an absolutely plastic free electric tea kettle, we do make a comparison later on in the article.

Why avoid plastic?

There are a few reasons people try to avoid plastic parts on an appliance:

Durability: Plastic has the potential to degrade and weaken over time. It is quite reasonable to expect your electric kettle to be a long lasting appliance. An easy way to make sure it lasts for years to come is to avoid plastic parts coming into contact with heated water.

Health concerns: Many people try to reduce their exposure to heated plastics because they are concerned for their health. Numerous studies have shown that plastics release harmful chemicals over time, especially when they are heated.

Advantages of a plastic handle

Having a plastic handle for a tea pot is the best way to have a handle that will not heat up too much. There is always the option of using something like the Primula Cast Iron Teapot. This kind of teapot has a metal handle. Since the handle heats up you will need to use something like a pot holder to pick up the kettle. Something to also consider about the cast iron teapot is that you would need to either heat it on the stove or purchase a separate hot plate. We feel like the plastic handle on the Willow & Everett Electric Gooseneck Kettle is a good compromise. It allows for convenient serving and still avoids plastic contaminating your drinking water.

Functionality of a gooseneck kettle

One of the great things about gooseneck kettles is their functionality. Since the spout is narrower than a traditional teapot, you can use them for delicate tasks like brewing pour over coffee. The narrow, easily controlled stream is a must to make sure the filter on your pour over coffeemaker does not overflow. The gooseneck is also great if you use smaller teacups for the same reasons.

Silent Operation

The single downside to this electric kettle is that it will not whistle when the water is boiling. There is an automatic shutoff feature that turns the base off once the water has boiled. You will need to listen for the bubbling of boiling water instead of relying on the loud whistle of a traditional tea pot.

Cordless Serving

This electric tea kettle has a base that plugs into the wall. The kettle part does not remained attached to the base. Since the base and kettle detach you never need to worry about the length of the cord when you pour the hot water. This feature is less common than you might think and also very valuable to have.

Our Rating

All of these features added up make the Willow & Everett Electric Gooseneck Kettle one of the best electric gooseneck kettles on the market. Be sure to check back for other reviews in the future, we made find a better one yet!

If you come across any great electric kettles without plastic parts that we did not mention in this article, leave a comment to let us know. Thanks!

MSR Reactor vs Windburner

In the world of backpacking and backcountry cooking systems MSR and their camping stoves standout for their quality and heating efficiency. Today we compare two of their top stoves – the MSR Reactor and the MSR Windburner.

While both stoves are rated as high performance and come with a number of useful features, we compare them side by side to help you figure out which is the best option for your needs.

We compare their dimensions, weight and fuel efficiency later on in the article. First up though, we list their similarities.

Similarities between MSR Reactor and Windburner

  • Fuel type – both are designed to work with MSR IsoPro fuel, which is an 80/20 blend of isobutane and propane. All of the heating times and fuel costs to boil water that we talk about further down the page are done using MSR IsoPro fuel.
  • Capacity – the MSR Windburner only comes with a 1 liter pot while the MSR Reactor comes with multiple sizes. Because of this, we only compare the 1 liter options in this article so that you can compare apples to apples. If you want to check out the larger Reactor sizes, use this link to see the product listings.
  • Single burner – both stoves use a single burner.
  • Ignition – neither stove come with a built in ignition system. This means you can use the one you already own or that you might need to add on the MSR Piezo Igniter. In either case, remember to pack it with you when you head out.

With the similarities out of the way we continue on to highlight the differences between these two stoves.

MSR Reactor vs Windburner

Size

Like we mentioned earlier, the MSR Reactor comes in a variety of sizes – 1.0 liter, 1.7 liter and 2.5 liter capacities. The Windburner on the other hand only comes in a 1.0 liter model.

The 1.0 liter Reactor measures 4.75 x 6.1 inches when it is packed up. Since it is a cylinder that translates to 432 cubic inches. You can also fit a 4 ounce MSR IsoPro fuel container inside the pot and still have the same dimensions.

Without the fuel canister this stove weighs 14.7 ounces, just under a full pound.

The MSR Windburner is 4.5 inches by 7.1 inches giving it a volume of 451 cubic inches. This is a 4% increase in size even though the cooking capacity is still 1 liter.

The weight is also higher at 15.3 ounces – another 4% increase.

When it comes to being space conscious and saving weight in your pack, the MSR Reactor is the clear winner.

We go into the heating efficiency of these stoves in the next section. The Reactor wins there as well. The only place the Windburner is superior is in its pricing and it is a significant difference. You can either keep reading or use the links below to compare prices.

MSR Reactor

MSR Windburner

Efficiency

Thankfully both the Reactor and the Windburner run off the same fuel type. This makes comparing their heating capacities a lot easier.

The Reactor can boil 1 liter of water in three and a half minutes while the Windburner takes four and a half minutes for the same task. Personally, this is not a big deal. I am more concerned with the weight differences between the two stoves.

The Reactor can burn through 8 ounces of IsoPro in 80 minutes while the Windburner can last 95 minutes with the same amount of fuel. Basically, we are seeing a difference in output here. The Reactor can burn more fuel at one time, which makes it able to heat up water faster.

MSR Reactor

MSR Windburner

Camping Stoves

This is one article in our series of camping stove reviews. Be sure to check our site for more reviews by using the search bar on the right hand side near the top of the page. Other articles feature MSR, Jetboil and of course Coleman.

For a more general read about camping stoves and the features you may want to consider, check out this article.

Best Kind of Mortar and Pestle

It’s the one cooking utensil that no one thinks they really need, but it’s also the one that leads to the most robust flavors and mouthwatering dishes: a mortar and pestle.

You might be considering a set for the flair it will add to your kitchen, but these handy devices have been used longer than you think. And they really do add a certain something to the flavor of your cooking.

But is it right for you and how do you know which one to buy? From giving yourself the go-ahead to deciding on the perfect type, our article will take you through it all.

Here’s a quick link to skip ahead to the different types of mortars an pestles. Otherwise read on for some extensive background information about this unique kitchen tool.

Historical Use

Many people are drawn to the mortar and pestle because of the old-world atmosphere it exudes. It brings to mind ancient medicines, apothecaries and a time with horses and knights.

In reality, grinding using a mortar and pestle goes back much further than the times of chivalry.

In varying forms and with a multitude of materials, these tools have been used since the time of the Egyptians. In fact, they are even mentioned in the oldest known medical document and in the Bible.

Is a Mortar and Pestle Right for Me?

Many consumers are hesitant to purchase a mortar and pestle because they aren’t positive they’ll use it. After all, if you buy one you’re going to want to do more than admire it.

To answer this question, you must consider your personal lifestyle. These grinding instruments have a plethora of advantages we’ll get into shortly, but they are ideal for a number of different individuals:

  • Those who love to cook
  • Anyone interested in making something from scratch
  • Families that love pastes, spiced blends and dressing
  • Individuals who create homemade medicines
  • Pet owners who require easy-to-eat food for their furry children
  • People who enjoy authentic or culturally diverse foods

As you can see, many types of people (and animals) benefit from the use of a mortar and pestle.

In the kitchen alone, they are an easy way to crack spices and peppercorn, crush herbs and grind roots.

If you’re starting to get excited, this option’s right for you.

Why You Need One

You might be asking yourself if you should bother scrounging up the extra cash. After all, you can cut or mash just fine with knives or other instruments, right?

Wrong.

A mortar and pestle offer more benefits than most people think. And if you believe they’re outdated, think again. The instrument is used by professional chefs across the world.

Better Flavors

Yes, you will actually experience better flavors and consistency in your food. Rather than the spinning and cutting accomplished by a blender, the instrument smashes ingredients into each other, releasing essential oils and forcing all ingredients to absorb the flavor.

“For example, you can really taste the basil, the pine nuts, and the garlic in a pesto made in a mortar and pestle,” says Ashley Nunez, creator of junkfoodkids.com.

It’s for this reason the kitchen utensil is a staple part of culturally diverse foods. Cuban food, for instance, relies on garlic, onions and cumin for many recipes. To truly experience the flavors these ingredients offer, grinding rather than cutting is necessary.

Convenience

Mortar and pestles are easy to use, although they do require effort on the cook’s part. And the efficiency is palpable. You’ll crush and mix things quicker and easier.

But the ease of use is nothing compared to the versatility. There are types for anything and everything you could think of making: pastes, pestos, dressings, medicines, powders, spice blends and more.

In addition, most are easy to clean. Owners need only scrub it under warm water most of the time, although occasional deep scrubs with rice may be necessary to remove lingering scents or tastes.

Price

Regardless of your price range, there’s a pestle and mortar for you. Prices range from $10 to thousands of dollars depending on the brand and type.

Durability

If you invest in this kitchen addition, you’ll get your money’s worth. The right mortar and pestle set lasts for generations. As such, they’re great tools to hand down to your children and grandchildren.

Connection

Finally, owning and using a mortar and pestle provides a deeper connection to the food being made. For many passionate about culinary arts, it’s a mid-cooking type of yoga.

After interviewing cookbook author Adam Roberts, NPR’s Deena Prichep wrote, “The point is to see cooking not just as something to get through, so that you can put your feet up and relax when you’re done. It’s about actually relaxing and enjoying the process of cooking itself.”

How to Use

Using mortar and pestles is easy! Many people make the mistake of hammering their food with the pestle. Instead, think of rocking.

Move the food into the center of the mortar with the pestle, then crush it using a rocking motion. This technique should be used with harder ingredients.

Bashing is a possibility, too. For large seeds or other foods, this is effective at bursting through hard outer layers. Use short, quick thrusts to apply the pestle’s broad end.

For softer foods, liquids or pastes, use a muddling motion. Gently apply the pestle to the food, almost as if you’re pressing a paintbrush to the same area in an up and down motion over and over. Don’t scrape; lift the pestle each time before starting again.

Buying Considerations

You have an idea of the types offered, whether a mortar and pestle is right for you and how to use it. Now it’s time to discuss what you need to consider before making your purchase.

Use

What will you use your set for? This impacts the type you choose and the size. If you plan to create elaborate meals for family get-togethers, you’ll probably want a larger, deeper mortar. However, if you’re going to use it to make pastes for one or two meals, a softer material, and smaller set is ideal.

Weight and Size

Consider your kitchen and yourself here. Are you physically capable of handling a heavy mortar or is something lighter up your alley? Some sets weigh around 20 pounds.

Also, think about your kitchen and countertops. If you have a heavier set, use some protection to avoid scuffing any tables, countertops or other surfaces.

Size plays a factor, too. Do you have the counter space or cupboard room for a sizeable set?

Depths and Curves

Check out the shape of the mortar. Bowl-shaped ones are great for mixing liquids, pestos or other foods. Cup-shaped mortars are conducive for grinding harder substances.

In addition to the shape, be sure to consider the depth of the bowl. Try to pick one that’s at least three inches deep.

Mess and flying food is a hazard associated with this cookware, so if you plan to crush or mix more substances, deeper is better.

Diameter

Aim for a minimum six-inch diameter for an all ’rounder. This size lets you crush small, fine ingredients or large, bulky ones.

Again, consider the amount of food you’ll pulverize or mix before making a decision.

Grip

Remember: rough textures mean more cleaning but easier grinding while smooth textures are easy to care for but harder to use. If you’re not the agilest cook, a better grip will make your grinding life easier.

Beginners may be comfortable with a smooth but durable material, such as marble or some stones, to find a good balance between the two.

Smells

If you can’t stand lingering scents, stay away from very rough textures. While most can be eliminated through vigorous scrubbing with rice, having a sensitive nose is sure to change your love for a roughly-textured set into a fiery hate.

Keep in mind, you can always use other methods to remove cooking smells from your home, but the scent around the set will remain.

Materials

Stone is great for beginners. It’s easy to wash and durable, so you won’t have to worry about harming the cookware.
If you already have a mortar and pestle at home or are considering buying multiple ones, contemplate a support system. A stone set pairs great with a glass or marble type because it gives owners even more versatility.
The main concern for material type is maintenance. Always check to see how a set should be cleaned, as every material requires different methods and levels of maintenance.

Types to Add to Your Kitchen

Any number of materials are used to create mortar and pestles. Here, we’ll cover the common types.

Wooden or Bamboo

Mortar and Pestles can be made out of a variety of organic materials. Common types include:

  • bamboo
  • rosewood
  • acacia wood
  • olive wood

They look remarkable sitting on a kitchen countertop, but wood types aren’t for the faint of heart. They’re excellent for retaining flavors that create a gradual buildup of tastes in your food, but that also means you have to be careful what you grind. They have more give than other materials, meaning particularly hard substances might not grind as well as it would in a different type of bowl.

Since wood is lighter than stone or ceramic you will find yourself doing a little more work to crush or grind your ingredients. If you are looking to make fine powders then check out some of the more heavy duty materials used for mortar and pestle construction.

>The best uses for a wooden mortar and pestle are to crush peanuts into small chunks or to crush garlic. If you have a set that is large enough you can probably make your entire spicy papaya salad in it before serving.

The wooden pieces require careful cleaning and they should be dried immediately. We recommend using plain soap and water. Keep it out of the dishwasher since temperatures are super hot and the cycle keeps the wooden pieces wet much longer than washing by hand.

After washing some wooden sets recommend wiping a small amount of olive oil over the surfaces to restore the finish to the wood.

If you are looking for a mortar and pestle that works well and has a simple design then check out the Home Basics Mortar and Pestle made from bamboo.

When it comes to wooden mortar and pestles there is a huge variety in material and appearance. The list below is a diverse selection available on Amazon.

Acacia wood mortar and pestle by Ironwood Gourmet

Rosewood mortar and pestle by Rusticity

Olive wood mortar and pestle by BeldiNest

Porcelain

Porcelain looks elegant and are ideal for grinding herbs and spices. Unlike their wooden counterparts, these sets are generally fine for the dishwasher. Additionally, you do not need to be as diligent about drying them off.

One of the most common materials a mortar and pestle can be made from is porcelain. The flat, white surfaces are what come to mind for most people when they think of these tools.

A downside to the blank slate surface of white porcelain is that stains become much more noticeable. If you know this will bother you, just be forewarned and start looking for a darker color!

As long as you keep your kitchen neat and work carefully, these stains should be confined to the inside of the mortar bowl and the grinding bottom of the pestle.

If you are willing to accept this compromise then check out these traditional white porcelain sets.

EZ-Grip Silicone & Porcelain Mortar and Pestle – this mortar has a non-slip bottom to keep it from sliding on your counter and the pestle has a non-slip handle that is great if your hands are wet (as they often are in the kitchen)

HIC Mortar and Pestle with Pour Spout – depending on what you are making the pour spout can really come in handy. The spout does add a little to the price tag but this set is in the middle of the pack for ceramic mortar and pestles.

Fox Run 6240 Porcelain Mortar & Pestle – Fox Run makes a number of different mortar and pestles. This one is the basic model and comes in at the lowest price point.

Granite mortar and pestles, which we talk about later in this article, offer a lot of the advantages that the ceramic ones do. They are also much darker in color and will not accumulate stains in the same way.

Glass

Sure, glass mortar and pestles are fragile, but they make an excellent backup for the mortar and pestle you use for heavy lifting. Generally these are found in a lab setting. However, you can also use them to add a unique minimalist look to your kitchen.

Because of the material, these types are best used with liquids or colorful foods you’re afraid will stain other cookware. They offer the same utility that a ceramic set will.

When considering a glass mortar and pestle be sure to look for one that is made of borosilicate glass and not soda lime.

Borosilicate glass is mechanically stronger and much more resistant to acids. Both of these qualities are very important to materials that come into contact with your food.

Check out this curated list of borosilicate glass mortar and pestles.

Deschem 90mm Glass Mortar and Pestle – This borosilicate mortar and pestle is just over 3.5 inches across. It has a footed base which adds stability during use.

Glass mortar and pestle with spout – If you need extra accuracy and control along with acid resistance then check out this borosilicate set. The mortar has a spout to help you out.

Marble

Marble offers the same features that you would find in a ceramic mortar and pestle, so we will not spend much time describing them.

They are unique when it comes to their appearance. Marble offers some beautiful options. For the most part they are white, black or grey with varying amounts of granite in them.

Here is a short list with a variety of color options.

HIC Footed Mortar and Pestle Set – Solid Carrara Marble

Evco Marble Mortar/Pestle – Dark green

RSVP Marble Mortar and Pestle – Grey

Granite and Molcajete

These types are great for a variety of purposes, granite types are popular in Thailand while the molcajete is traditionally Mexican. The rough texture, characteristic of a volcanic stone, allows easy grinding and they can be used with all types of ingredients.

Additionally, these volcanic stone pestles are much heavier than other types because they are bigger. The extra heft makes granite a great choice for making pastes or grinding nuts and other hard food items.

When it comes to care and cleaning, volcanic rock mortar and pestle gets a little complicated. Granite is prone to staining if acidic or oily foods are ground within the bowl.

Some people say the use of mild detergents is fine on granite while others think the soap may get stuck in the material and contaminate whatever you grind next.

Personally, I clean mine by grinding uncooked rice in it. Just grind about two tablespoons of white rice. If the rice picks up a color then dump it out and add new rice. Once the rice stays clean after grinding, rinse it out with warm water and dry with a cloth.

Coarse salt will also get the job done.

If that process sounds like too much work, check out other materials for your mortar and pestle. If you are looking for a heavy duty set then take a look at the links below.

*The links below only contain unpolished sets. A polished granite mortar and pestle works just like a ceramic or marble one would.

ChefSofi Mortar and Pestle Set – This one comes with a felt pad you can add to the bottom of the mortar to protect your countertops from scratching.

Granite Mortar and Pestle by HiCoup – HiCoup advertises this set as dishwasher safe. Obviously they do not think detergents can get stuck in the granite.

Vasconia 4-Cup Granite Molcajete Mortar and Pestle – This is one of the bigger mortar and pestle sets out there. At just under 8 inches wide you can grind quite a lot of food in this mortar.

Cast Iron

Cast iron is a great material for crushing hard and fibrous ingredients. Much like their volcanic rock counterparts, these heavier implements can make short work of pretty much anything you throw at, or rather in them.

Much like cast iron skillets, there are some additional considerations when using a cast iron mortar and pestle. They can rust and they do not do well when exposed to acids.

After use and cleaning, be sure to dry every bit of moisture off and rub with a very thin layer of oil. We recommend grapeseed oil since it is colorless and tasteless.

Also, if you use acidic foods with cast iron they can strip off significant amounts of iron. This excess iron then gets into your food. While some people debate this when it comes to cast iron skillets, your mortar and pestle does not build up the same kind of seasoning because it is not exposed to heat.

In light of these drawbacks, a cast iron mortar and pestle can be a unique addition to any kitchen.

Fox Run Cast Iron Mortar and Pestle

Skeppshult Cubic Cast Iron Mortar & Pestle

Suribachi

This Japanese earthenware is used for a plethora of ingredients to make pastes:

  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Tofu
  • Fish and other meats

Its ridged interior is ideal for making pesto, as well. The ridges are great for grinding foods in a predictable and consistent manner.

Helen’s Asian Kitchen Suribachi Set

M.V. Trading Ceramic Suribachi Set

It’s All About You

A mortar and pestle set not only quietly says “authentic” sitting on your countertop, but it also creates the best food you can eat. They come packed with possibilities.

However, choosing the right one for you and your kitchen requires some contemplation and insight.

We know once you purchase the perfect addition to your kitchen, you’ll be cooking like mad. That’s why you should read our article about oil warmers.

Let’s face it: cooking stinks. Sometimes the smell is pleasant, and other times it leaves a nasty after-scent. For those scenarios, you need an oil warmer.

Cooking, smells and delicious tastes aside, if you read this article start to finish, you need a grinding set. Mortar and pestles offer a deeper connection to cooking than automatic machines, an engagement lacking in today’s hurried world.

So get out there and purchase one today. It’s grinding time.

Best Carbon Steel Flat Bottom Wok

If you frequently like to cook Asian cuisines, particularly Chinese or Thai cuisines, then a wok is a must-have. These wide, round-bottomed cooking pans are perfect for make stir-frys, pad Thais, fried rice, or even dosas.

Today, the wok is commonly used in China, Vietnam, Thailand, several other Asian countries, and the United States as well. They can be constructed from different kinds of materials but the most popular one is the carbon steel wok.

Although no one knows the true origin of the wok, everyone is clear on what it can do. Not only are they good for stir-frying but they are also great for boiling, steaming, poaching, braising, searing, roasting, and so much more.

Woks are a one-of-a-kind kitchenware that everyone should have at home and we’ll tell you why.

Why a Wok?

If you’ve never owned a wok before, you might be wondering, “Do I need one?” Well, the answer is no, you don’t, but like how you don’t need a toaster, it’s still good to have one because your food will taste better.

And if you want authentic stir-frys and braised noodles then yes, we would recommend one. But what makes a wok different from other frying pans?

To start, woks are much larger in comparison to normal pans. They have a large opening and their sides are deep and curved. This was purposeful so food can rest at an angle when cooking instead of sitting at the bottom in a pool of grease. Also, you don’t have to worry as much about food spilling over when stirring.

In addition, woks are also excellent at conducting heat, which allows you to cook food with less oil. If you’re cooking something fatty like meat, the fat will drip down from the curved sides while you’re cooking. This makes your dishes healthier.

“Wok Hei”

One last thing to mention about woks is that they add a very distinct taste to food known as “wok hei.” “Wok hei” is a Cantonese phrase that literally means the “breath of a wok.” It describes the slightly charred aroma and piping hot steam of a dish.

In Cantonese cuisine, “wok hei” is something chefs commonly judge a dish by. If it has good “wok hei,” it means the chef knew how to handle a wok. It’s similar to how we look for smokiness in barbequed food in the United States.

“Wok hei” happens when food, protein, sugar, and oil are all cooked together at high temperatures. And when we say high, we mean higher than what most home stoves are capable of achieving. You might’ve seen a chef achieve “wok hei” on T.V when it looks like they tossed flames inside the wok.

Different Types of Woks

Now that you know what makes a wok special, let us introduce you to the different types of woks. There are three main types of woks in the market: cast iron wok, aluminum wok, and carbon steel wok.

Cast Iron

Cast iron woks are the most old-school type of woks and are in most traditional Chinese homes although carbon steel ones are becoming more popular.

Cast iron woks range from 3 mm to 9 mm in thickness and they are the heaviest of all between the three types of woks. This thickness, however, does have its advantages because they also make the woks very sturdy.

Generally, cast iron takes a bit longer than most other metals to heat up but when they heat up. The upside to this is they can retain and evenly distribute heat very well. When cooking with a cast iron, make sure you take it off the stove when you’re done and plate your food otherwise it’ll keep cooking.

All cast iron woks do require a seasoning process just like a cast iron skillet.

Aluminum

Aluminum woks are less common but some people prefer them because they are light and conduct heat fast. The downside of this is food can also burn food faster if you’re not careful.

In terms of durability, aluminum is not as durable as the other metals because it’s easy to scratch or dent. If you’ve dropped an aluminum pot, you probably know what we’re talking about.

One last thing to note about aluminum is that if they are not coated properly, aluminum can leach into your food which is harmful to the human body. And even if they do have the coating, they can peel off after awhile after several uses and washes.

Carbon Steel Wok

Carbon steel woks are a good middle ground between cast iron and aluminum woks. They contain the best of both worlds. How?

Weight

Structurally, carbon steel and cast iron are similar except cast iron has more than 2 percent carbon, while carbon (or cast steel) has 0.1-0.5 percent carbon. This makes carbon steel lighter than cast iron, which makes them better for handling when making stir-frys.

Durability

Carbon steel is more durable than both cast iron and aluminum. Although cast iron may look stronger, the metal is actually more rigid and brittle. If you drop a cast iron cooking, it can shatter.

If you’ve ever owned aluminum kitchenware then you know how easily they dent. Carbon steel, on the other hand, is much more flexible and pliable than cast iron steel but stronger than aluminum

High Heat Conduction

Carbon steel can handle high heat very well. They are thick enough for open flames on gas stoves but they are also thin enough for the heat to transfer from electric stoves. And since carbon steel doesn’t absorb water as much like cast iron, your food will also retain more moisture.

One thing that is important to know about carbon steel is they are all non-stick and they must be seasoned with oil before use to prevent sticking. But unlike aluminum, it is not toxic.

Round Bottom vs Flat Bottom

You might’ve noticed that some woks have round bottoms while others have flat bottoms.

Round-bottomed woks are only meant for gas stoves while flat-bottomed stoves work on both gas and electric stoves. If your gas stove top isn’t wide enough to fit a round-bottomed wok, you can buy a wok stand to prop it up.

Electric stoves also take more time to heat up, which is why carbon steel works better on them than cast iron woks.

Best Flat Bottom and Round Bottom Carbon Steel Woks

When shopping for the best carbon steel wok, there are a few things you should look out for.

One is steel gauge. The higher the steel gauge is, the thinner the wok is, meaning the lighter it also is. But if you want something to last longer, thicker can be a good thing too.

Next is the size. Most standard sized woks have a 14-inch diameter on the top. This is large enough to create dishes for 12 people. 12-inch woks are good for up to 5 people and 16 inch woks are good for up to 12 people.

The third thing you want to pay attention to is the construction of the handles. Bamboo, wood, and phenolic plastic are the best materials because they can stay cool in high temperatures.

Now let’s get to some of the best flat-bottomed and round-bottomed woks in the market right now. To keep things simple we made the title of each section into a link that takes you to the product listing on Amazon.

1. Joyce Chen Pro Chef Flat Bottom Wok Uncoated Carbon Steel

Joyce Chen was a prominent Chinese-American restaurateur who popularized northern-style Chinese cuisine. She has a series of highly rated woks but this one is one of our favorites.

The Pro Chef Flat Bottom Wok is 14-inches at the top and 2mm thick, which is the standard size for woks. It has a flat bottom, which makes it perfect for all kinds of stoves, especially electric stoves.

The wok also has phenolic handles, a type of material that can stay cool even when it’s in 350 F heat. This wok weighs 4.19 pounds.

2. Joyce Chen Classic Series Carbon Steel Wok

This is another one of our favorite Joyce Chen flat bottom woks. It is also 14 inches in diameter and features two long Birch wood handles.

The Classic Series wok is slightly lighter than the Pro Chef wok at 1.5 mm thick, which makes it one the lightest woks on our list. It weighs only 3.35 pounds.

The thinness of the wok also allows it to heat up faster than most woks and it is perfect for making healthy tofu and vegetable stir-frys.

3. Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen Flat Bottom Wok

Helen Chen is the daughter of Joyce Chen. She is also a culinary expert and a cooking instructor. Like her mother, she also has a line of high-quality kitchenware. One of her stand out pieces is the Asian Kitchen Flat Bottom Wok.

This wok is 14 inches, made out of 1.6mm of heavy gauge carbon steel, and it has concentric grooves for rapid heating. The handles are wooden and we recommend hand washing. This wok is 5 pounds and the flat bottom makes it perfect for electric or gas stoves.

4. Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok

This 14-inch, round-bottomed wok designed by Craft Wok consists of 15 gauge commercial grade carbon steel. Its thickness is 1.8mm and weighs 4.6 pounds.

The rounded sides are perfect for stirring but if you choose to, you can also use it to deep fry food or even steam dumplings. It has steel helper handles to prevent your hands from burning even if you’re using it over high heat.

As with most carbon steel kitchenware, make sure you season it before you cook and wipe dry before storage to prevent rust.

5. M.V. Trading Carbon Steel Wok with Helper Handle

A lesser known brand than the previous ones but with great reviews. This flat-bottomed wok is 14 inches wide and constructed out of 14-gauge carbon steel.

The handles are natural, blond wood, and can withstand high heat. 14-inch woks can cook food for up to 12 people. If you love cooking for your friends then this is the perfect wok for you.

The helper handle is a life saver, especially when you have the wok loaded up with a ton of ingredients.

The M.V. Trading wok is also made in the U.S.A.

6. Keilen China Village Natural Carbon-Steel Wok

Less expensive than most woks in the market, the Keilen China Villag flat-bottomed wok is excellent for beginners. It is 14 inches wide and has beautiful curved sides like the more expensive models.

The only thing that we didn’t love as much were the plastic handles but they stayed cool throughout cooking. This wok weighs 4.21 pounds.

If you need a less expensive wok to practice your stir-frying skills and learn how a wok works in general, this a is a great starting piece to try.

Wok Accessories

Before you hit checkout, make sure you have the proper wok accessories too. Without them, you won’t be able to use your wok the way you want too.

The first accessory you must have is either a metal spatula or a non metal spatula. The point is you need a spatula made specifically for use in a wok.

The best ones come with long handles designed to use with woks. They come shaped in a specific angle that is perfect for stirring in woks. They also have thin lips to scoop up every scrap of food to prevent burning.

Contrary to popular belief, you should never use soap or harsh metal scrubs on your carbon steel wok. If you must scrub it, you can use warm water with a rubber scrub or bamboo scrub, then finally, a normal dish sponge to wipe off excess. Once cleaned, dry it and pour some vegetable oils onto a clean cloth to season the surface.

If you plan on making a lot of stir-frys, we would also recommend installing a range hood in your kitchen to help you keep it clean and smelling good.

Everything You Need For Your Kitchen And Home

Finding the right home goods is difficult. You have to find items that are both practical and appealing.

If you would like to read more articles and reviews on the best kitchenware and household goods, make sure you head over to our blog to learn more!

 

Camp Chef Summit vs Everest

Having a warm meal while you are out in the wilderness is a great way to bring some of the comforts of home with you. It can be nice to have a break from protein bars and granola once in a while.

This article compares Camp Chef Summit Stove and the Camp Chef Everest Stove. These two stoves are basically the same and have more similarities than differences.

We start out with the short list of ways these stoves are different from each other. The second section of this article describes the features you can find on both of these stoves.

Camp Chef Summit vs Everest


Ignition

The Summit has a turn style ignition, similar to turning a key in a lock while the Everest has a simple push button to provide a spark.

Leveling feet

The Summit has leveling feet that  got mixed reviews. The chief complaint was that the threads where the feet screwed in and out would strip easily and not work.

Besides the few complaints about the threads stripping in the leveling feet, we do see two significant inconveniences in using them.

First, you need to tip the stove up to adjust the feet by turning them in or out like a screw. Second, the total range for adjustment is less than half an inch.

The Everest does not have a leveling mechanism and requires a little DIY to provide a level cooking surface. 

For both of these stoves your best bet is going to be starting out with a level surface to begin with. 

Color

This is the final difference between these two. The Everest comes in an orange color while the Summit has an almost fire truck red paint job.

Mountain Series – Both of these camping stoves are part of the Camp Chef Mountain Series lineup.

With those minor differences out of the way, we move on to their similarities.

Similarities

Here is a quick rundown of the features the Summit and the Everest share:

  • Dual burners with independent ignition and temperature controls
  • Each burner produces 20,000 BTUs while on high
  • Total cooking space of 317.25 square inches
  • Weighs 12 pounds
  • Wind guards on three sides
  • Burn propane as a fuel source
  • Removable cooking grates
  • Stainless steel drip pans
  • Part of the Mountain Series of Camp Chef Stoves

These stoves both provide a total of 40,000 BTUs over a significant cooking area.

The wind guards to the left and right of the cooking area have the option to fasten to the open lid. This creates a very stable setup when everything is locked in.

Be sure to check out these and other camping stove in the Camp Chef Mountain Series.

Camping Stoves

This is one article in our series of camping stove reviews. Be sure to check our site for more reviews by using the search bar on the right hand side near the top of the page. Other articles feature MSR, Jetboil and of course Coleman.
For a more general read about camping stoves and the features you may want to consider, check out this article.