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Best Wok to Cook With

Want to master the art of stir-frying? If so, you’ll need a wok. Learn what makes the best woks stand out from the rest and see our picks for the new best wok available for sale.

What You Should Look for in a Wok

There are so many different kinds of wok out there. Non-stick woks, stainless steel woks, carbon-steel woks, cast iron wors, and even electric woks are commonly used in wok cooking. However, as you can tell from our reviews, not all woks are the same and don’t produce food the same. Some are just better than others and while there are dozens, if not hundreds, of options out there, only a few hit all the right points. Here are the features we considered when selecting the best cooking woks on the market:

wok cooking

Shape

All woks should be round with steep sides and traditional woks also have a rounded bottom. However, this rounded bottom isn’t ideal for most modern stoves, particularly those with a flat ceramic cooktop. A simple wok ring can solve this problem, but if you don’t want to purchase additional equipment or simply want a wok that woks with your stove the way you have it set up now, you can choose a flat-bottom wok.

In theory, flat-bottom woks don’t offer the exact same stir-frying facility as a round-bottom wok, but if you choose a model with the right design, this shouldn’t be a concern.

Material

Stainless steel isn’t a great material for a wok—it isn’t naturally non-stick and that can cause some serious problems (and require the use of a lot of oil) for effective wok cooking. Plus, stainless steel tends to be quite heavy, which makes it less than ideal for the active tossing cooking style associated with this type of cooking tool.

This means that cast iron and carbon steel are the two best materials for a wok. Cast iron is the classic choice for a traditional wok and carbon steel is a modern material that you should consider if you want the lightest, sturdiest wok you can find. Though cast iron is a reliable cooking material with excellent non-stick properties, it’s sturdiest when it’s thick and thickness leads to heaviness, which is, again, not what you should get from a wok. Still, it’s worth considering so we’ll discuss a cast iron option below for you to try out.

Handles

Tossing and jiggling are vital for keeping food moving in the wok so it doesn’t burn. This is the heart and soul of stir frying—you have to be able to hold onto the wok and move it around as you cook. This means your wok should have a long, heatproof handle made of a material such as wood or cool-touch plastic. Ideally, the wok will have another, short handle, also made of a heatproof material, opposite from the long handle so you can easily lift and carry it.

New Best Wok to Cook With

Best Wok Reviews

Joyce Chen 22-0060 

Joyce Chen 22-0060

Made from uncoated carbon steel, this flat-bottom wok hits all the points we outlined above, featuring heatproof plastic handles, including a large stirring handle, plus a lightweight construction and high, sloping sides that will make it easy to dance your ingredients around in the pan. The 14-inch size is just right for active stir-frying and the pan slopes gently to its flat bottom so you get as much of that valuable curved side surface area as possible as you cook.

When purchased brand new, this Joyce Chen Pro Chef carbon steel wok arrives with a protective coating you must remove, after which you’ll season the pan using heat and oil. This seasoning forms a natural non-stick coating from polymerized fats. Though you should be careful to avoid removing this non-stick seasoning, the myth that you can’t clean seasoned metal isn’t accurate. Avoid heavy abrasives and don’t stick it in the dishwasher. Other than that, you’ll be able to wash with dish soap and water as normal, making upkeep simple and easy.

Lodge P14W3

Lodge P14W3

This cast iron wok breaks one of the rules we outlined above—it doesn’t have a long handle for stirring and its two side handles are made from the same heat-conductive cast iron as the rest of the pan. However, Lodge, one of the most trusted names in cast iron cookware, clearly had their heads on straight when they designed this wok. It’s not intended for lifting and stirring—it’s too heavy for that. This means that the handle would be moot even if it was there, so if you tend to prefer to move your arms and your body as you stir-fry rather than moving the pan, this one’s a good choice for you.

The Lodge P14W3 cast iron wok has a flat bottom, but that flat bottom is more like a built-in pedestal for a round-bottom wok. This means you can set the pan flat on your stove without wobbling, but the actual bottom of the wok itself is perfectly rounded. This is smart design and, though the bottom foot is pretty small, it might take a while for this wok to become perfectly heated, meaning it’s a good solution to a common issue and a great compromise for those who insist on cast iron cookware.

Additionally, this one’s pre-seasoned, which is ultra convenient for those who don’t want to worry about adding their own nonstick coating. Just make sure you have two pot holders on hand to grab the handles on either side of the wok so you don’t burn yourself.

Joyce Chen 23-001 

Joyce Chen 23-001

Described as a lightweight cast iron option, this Joyce Chen wok also features a flat bottom with generously curved sides. This wok is a fantastic choice for anyone who wants to balance classic wok design with the demands of a modern kitchen. Pre-seasoned and ready for action after a quick wash, this wok isn’t as good as either of the options listed above.

However, if you want a combination of the two, this is the wok for you. Some customers have complained that the pre-seasoning flakes off so you may need to be careful with how you wash the pan. Treat it like you would a self-seasoned cast iron pan by avoiding heavy abrasive cleaners (no steel wool allowed) and be sure to add a light coating of vegetable oil after each use so you can maintain and build upon the existing seasoning.

New Copper Skillet Cookware

Copper cookware is a classic associated with high-end French cuisine and fine dining experiences in some of the world’s best restaurants. You can capture some of this luxury in your own home with a copper skillet, cookware that’s designed to last a lifetime. However, unlike stainless steel or anodized aluminum, copper isn’t the kind of material you can just start cooking with and hope for the best.

This is a reactive metal that’s also softer and more prone to scratching than what you might be used to working with. If you want to start cooking with the best tools, take some time to learn more about copper skillet cookware, including our picks for the best new copper pans available to your today.

copper skillet cookware

All About Copper Cookware

Traditional copper cookware is made from pure copper and may be lined with tin or have a cast iron handle but, for the most part, it’s made solely from the orangey-gold metal that looks so beautiful hanging from a pot rack. Solid copper pots and pans are delicate, requiring regular polishing and careful cleaning to avoid scratching, and they’re also considered “reactive,” which means that acidic foods cooked in copper take on a metallic flavor that can ruin your food. For example, if you were to make a batch of fresh spaghetti sauce using tomatoes from your garden, you wouldn’t want to cook it in an unlined copper pot. Otherwise, your sauce would taste like tomatoes with a heavy note of pennies. Not very tasty!

New copper skillet cookware

The good thing about new copper cookware is that most people don’t have much patience for reactive cookware anymore so most copper skillets, pots, and fry pans tend to be lined with other materials such as ceramic, stainless steel, or anodized aluminum. This is good, not only because copper can make your food bad, but also because copper is one of those metals that leach into the food it comes into contact with. A little bit of copper every now and then won’t hurt you, but you could end up with copper toxicity if you ate a lot of food cooked in a copper pot on a regular basis.

This may make copper sound like a useless cooking material, but it really isn’t. In fact, copper is an excellent choice for cooking because it is one of the most conductive metals we know of, which means it distributes heat quickly and evenly across the entire cookware surface. That’s why copper is such a common material used in electrical circuits and wires. So, in spite of its delicacy and its potential for reactivity, copper is a fantastic cooking material in very practical ways.

Selecting Your Copper Cookware

With all that in mind, you may feel ready to purchase some copper cookware, and it is a better choice than ever before thanks to the abundance of options at various price points. Heritage brands, including the two we cover below in the reviews, are still your best bet for heirloom-quality copper cookware. But not everyone has that kind of cash to spend on a frying pan.

If you choose to go with a budget brand, be on the lookout for dubious claims. Infomercial brands have recently decided to make copper their gimmick of the moment and there are a lot of affordably priced “copper” cookware pieces out there that don’t have much actual copper to speak of and use low-quality ingredients to produce low-quality results.copper cookware

Copper isn’t a cheap material and it isn’t easy to work with. That’s why so many of the best options in this category are so expensive. Any brand purporting to offer a piece of brand-new copper cookware for less than $50 MSRP is probably not being completely forthcoming. To really get the most out of copper cookware, you’re going to have to spend a little to get a little.

Best Copper Skillet Reviews

Mauviel M’Heritage 9.5” Copper Saute Pan with Lid Mauviel M’Heritage 9.5” Copper Saute Pan with Lid

Mauviel is one of those culinary brands that serious foodies dream of adding to their kitchen someday and the price tag reflects its exalted status. This brand has earned its prestige in the kitchen, though, especially when it comes to copper cookware. Made of 90% copper with a thin stainless steel lining and stainless steel hardware for the lid and pan handles, this saute pan really makes use of its materials to produce a durable, heirloom-quality skillet that’s beautiful and certain to perform with aplomb.

Matfer Bourgeat 11” Copper Frying PanMatfer Bourgeat 11” Copper Frying Pan

This oven-safe frying pan features a copper exterior, stainless steel interior, and cast iron handle in a classic shape that gives you everything you need and nothing you don’t. Matfer Bourgeat is a French brand that still makes all of its products in European factories staffed by skilled master craftsmen. With more than 200 years under its belt, this isn’t some upstart brand looking to make a buck. The utilitarian design on this copper frying pan belies its usefulness and quality, but it’s a great reminder that there’s no need to gild the lily when you’ve got something good enough to stand on its own.

Analon Nouvelle Copper 10 Covered French Skillet

Analon Nouvelle Copper 10” Covered French Skillet

No, this pan isn’t orange in color and it doesn’t feature much copper at all—except where it arguably counts the most, right at the base. While a lot of other budgets brands are getting tricky with their use of copper (or, more frequently, “copper”), integrating just a little bit of it in a flashy way or using the word “copper” to describe a color rather than an actual metal, Analon is keeping it real with this budget-friendly option, which provides the heat-distributing power of copper in a thick band around its base.

Other material, including hard-anodized aluminum and a nonstick coating that’s safe to 500 degrees, making this pan a versatile choice that looks sleek with its copper foot. This skillet comes with a glass lid, too, adding yet more utility to its already excellent design.

Best Programmable Crock Pot

Set-it-and-forget-it cooking is ideal for busy parents and other home cooks who want to create a delicious, hearty meal but don’t have a lot of time for active prep. Slow cookers are ideal for this style of cooking because they maintain a steady temperature and have a self-contained design that’s way less risky or expensive than leaving your oven running all day. If you want to get the most out of this style of a cooking appliance, though, you should opt for a programmable model to ensure the perfect cooking times. Learn why this is and find out which programmable crock pots are best for your needs with this handy guide.

Benefits of a Programmable Slow Cooker

Manual slow cookers let you flip a switch or a knob and maintain a steady level of heat until you switch them off. This approach is great if you’re around for some passive monitoring, but if you want to keep the crockpot going while you’re at work, not being able to set the cooking times can be a big gamble. It could be that the recipe you’re trying out didn’t include enough liquid and leaving that slow cooker on all day could mean you’re welcomed home big a burned mess.

Programmable Slow Cooker

Programmable slow cookers solve this problem by allowing you to set the appliance to cook for a specified amount of time. That’s a major bonus for those days when nothing seems to go your way—even if you end up stuck in a surprise traffic jam on your way home, you won’t have to worry about your food burning because the machine will just turn itself off according to your programmed timer selection. When you use them properly and abide by all safety recommendations, programmable slow cookers remove the little risk associated with this cooking method and give you peace of mind for passive cooking.

Best Programmable Slow Cooker Reviews

There are a lot of slow cookers on the market and, as far as the manual models are concerned, they’re usually one and the same. You can use criteria like design using stainless steel with a glass lid or capacity and do pretty well with a manual slow cooker. However, as programmable slow cookers are more technologically complex, deciding on the right programmable slow cooker takes more time and consideration. Each of the three best we’ve identified here has its strengths and weaknesses though, in our opinion, the ALL-CLAD SD700450 is the clear winner.

ALL-CLAD SD700450 

All-Clad is the kind of brand that professional cooks trust, but its signature lack of decorative bells and whistles can be a turnoff for some consumers. Don’t make this mistake—sure, the SD700450 programmable slow cooker looks bare-bones and utilitarian, lacking the pretty colors and appealing design of some of its competitors, but it is the best programmable slow cooker money can buy.

All-Clad SD700450

The digital programming interface is extremely simple, featuring just five buttons, including a power button, and a simple digital readout that anyone can understand. This alone puts it head and shoulders above some of the lesser options in this category, which feature complex control panels that seem unnecessary for such a simple machine.

Another major plus that sets this slow cooker apart is the fact that its interior ceramic insert is dishwasher safe, making it easy to clean and it’s black, meaning it won’t show stains the way white ceramic slow cooker inserts often do. It can hold 6 quarts total and is programmable for up to 26 hours, allowing you to take the concept of slow cooking to the extreme over the course of more than a full day. This option is one of the most expensive in its category, but its large capacity and versatility more than justify the price.

Hamilton Beach IntelliTime

The 6-quart IntelliTime programmable slow cooker also features a relatively simple interface controlled with a knob, which you can use to set a pre-programmed cooking time interval between 4–12 hours or select a manual cooking mode at various heat settings to control cooking time yourself. The one drawback of this system is that the single knob system means that controlling for minute details can be a bit confusing and you may have to scroll through several options before landing on the exact setting you need. This may not be a big deal to all users, but if you tend to be tech-phobic or if you’re shopping for an elderly relative who isn’t that great with digital interface controls, this is a potential issue to consider.

Hamilton Beach IntelliTime

Though it doesn’t measure up to our top choice in terms of the versatility it offers with programmable cooking settings, the Hamilton Beach IntelliTime programmable slow cooker does boast some great features, including a dishwasher- and oven-safe black ceramic insert. This slow cooker’s side handles also fold down for easy storage, making it a more streamlined option for crowded kitchen cabinets.

Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Cook & Carry 

Another large slow cooker with a black stoneware insert, the Crock Pot 6-quart Programmable Cook & Carry sets itself apart with a few handy features that make it ideal for on-the-go use. Whether you’re bringing lunch in for your colleagues at the office or you’re heading to a potluck dinner, this slow cooker is specifically designed to keep the lid on the insert in place. Two sturdy clamps on either side of the insert lock the lid in place and keep it there when you need it, which makes this a great option for those who like to take their slow cookers to different places.

rock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Cook

Other than this feature, the Programmable Cook & Carry doesn’t really best the competition—its pre-set cooking program time range of 30 minutes to 20 hours is generous, but not best in class. The ease-of-use in the digital interface is also middle-of-the-road in terms of features, with multiple clearly labeled buttons and a small readout screen that doesn’t really provide a lot of useful information. The arrangement just isn’t very intuitive, meaning you’ll probably need to read the user’s manual to figure out how to use these controls.

How long do mushrooms last? Increase the Life of Mushrooms

how long do mushrooms last in the fridge

Increase the Life of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a unique and often misunderstood fleshy fungi that can bring new interest to a boring dish or serve as a main dish on their own. While cooking with mushrooms is exciting and fun, keeping them fresh is crucial to protecting their flavor and keeping them safe to eat.

How long do mushrooms last?

The shelf life of mushrooms depends on a number of things, such as how old the mushrooms were when purchased as well as the heat and humidity of the mushrooms’ environment. Storing them in the refrigerator is a good way to extend their shelf life, but they can stay fresh even longer depending upon how they are prepared for storage.

Mushrooms carefully stored in the fridge can maintain freshness for 5-7 days. Sliced mushrooms have a shorter shelf life of 2-5 days as they begin to oxidize after being sliced. If you plan to slice your mushrooms, it is recommended that you wait until you are ready to use them before slicing.

It is also recommended that whole mushrooms be purchased rather than pre-sliced. Dr. Catherine Cutter, a respected food specialist, cautions that pre-cut mushrooms may have a greater risk of being infected with a bacteria known as Listeria monocytogenes simply because they are handled more during processing.

How long do mushrooms last in the refrigerator?

There are some ways to gain maximum freshness from mushrooms for an extended period in the fridge. Most culinary experts agree that freshly purchased mushrooms should be removed from their containers and placed in paper sacks or wrapped in paper towels before being placed in the refrigerator.

The reason that paper is a better storage option than plastic has to do with the biological makeup of mushrooms. These tasty tidbits are comprised mostly of water, in fact, mushrooms contain about 90% water as opposed to most vegetables that consist of around 70% water. As we all know, water evaporates and storing mushrooms in plastic means that the water cannot evaporate properly and can make the mushrooms soft and “mushy.” Storing in the paper provides a breathable alternative, allowing the moisture to evaporate and keeping the mushrooms dry and fresher.
Due to the high-water content of mushrooms, do not rinse them before storage.

How long do cooked mushrooms last?

Cooked mushrooms should not be kept longer than three days and should be stored in the refrigerator between 34 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it is always a good idea to check cooked mushrooms for signs of spoilage or odors if they have been stored in the refrigerator for more than a day.

Do certain types of mushrooms outlast others?

Surprisingly, mushrooms have little variance between types and how long they keep. If kept in the refrigerator in paper containers, whites, portabellas, and other types should stay fresh for the about the same period. While it is recommended that the mushrooms should be used within a day or two, it is possible that they may stay fresh for as long as a week.

Are there tips for purchasing mushrooms to help them stay fresh longer?

The first step in the process is to inspect mushrooms before buying them carefully. Look for discolorations, dark spots and areas of dampness and do not purchase if noted.
Some grocery stores and supermarkets sell mushrooms by the pound in large bins which are an excellent way to purchase them. Shoppers can inspect each mushroom for freshness or signs of age.

Other stores commonly sell mushrooms in cardboard containers sealed in plastic wrap. While this does not afford the visibility as the bins, it is still usually possible to check the mushrooms for signs of spoilage.
Look for firm mushrooms with no discolorations and with caps that are not separated from the stems.

 

Can mushrooms be frozen for later use?

It is quite possible to freeze mushrooms if they may otherwise spoil before time to use them. The first step is to make sure that the mushrooms are fresh with no soft spots or other blemishes. Chop or dice the mushrooms and spread them out in a single layer on a platter or baking sheet, then freeze for two hours.
After the two hours has elapsed, transfer the frozen mushrooms into freezer containers and place back into the freezer. Frozen mushrooms can keep for six to eight months.

 

Summing it up

With proper care and preparation techniques, most edible varieties of mushrooms can be kept and enjoyed for maximum periods of time for additions to salads and soups, favorite sauces, or as additions to many main dish recipes when a touch of something special is called for. Hope fully now you know that how long do mushrooms last.  If you have any question let me know in the comments 🙂

how much is a clove of garlic? Here are secrets you need to know

How much is a clove of garlic?

The weight of a clove varies from 1 gram to 6 grams (source: https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Garlic ). Taste and weight depend on the type of garlic.

Types of garlic:

Till today there are more than 400 species of garlic are found. The most common species of garlic is “Allium Sativum.” And this is most commonly available garlic. Allium Sativum is further subdivided into two categories.  Hardneck and Softneck.

Hardneck Garlic
Hardneck can be recognized by the stalk.

  • Rocambole
    • Purple stripe
    • Asiatic,
    • Marbled Purple Stripe,
    • Glazed Purple Stripe.
    •  CerolePorcelain

Softneck Garlic

Softneck Garlic has many layers. The outer layers are thick. Inner layers of cloves are smaller (closer to the bulb). Below are two popular types of softneck Garlic.

    • Silverskin garlic
    • Artichoke garlic

Creole Garlic
Black Garlic
Scapes
Ramps
Elephant/Buffalo Garlic

How many cloves in garlic?

There are 10-15 cloves in the garlic (whole bulb). On average a supermarket clove can weigh about 3-6 grams. Most of the recipes require only 2-3 cloves of garlic. Mincing will decrease the weight. Below are some details.

How much is a garlic clove minced?

One small clove of garlic = ½ teaspoon minced garlic.
One medium clove = 1 teaspoon minced
One big clove = 1.5 teaspoons of minced garlic

13 medium-size cloves are equal to the ¼ cup.

How much is 2 garlic cloves minced?

Below is what you will get if mince two garlic cloves
2 garlic cloves (small) = 1 tsp
2 medium cloves = 2 Tsp
2 big cloves = 3 Tsp

how much is three garlic cloves minced?
3 small garlic cloves (minced) = 1.5 tsp
3 medium garlic cloves (minced) = 3 tsp
3 big garlic cloves (minced) = 4.5 tsp

How much is four garlic cloves?

small garlic cloves (minced) = 2 tsp
4 medium garlic cloves (minced) = 4 tsp
4 large garlic cloves (minced) = 6 tsp

How much garlic powder equals one clove of garlic?

Fresh garlic always tastes better than the powder. I still use fresh garlic cloves but if you are allergic or want to use only for the medical purpose. Then garlic powder is ideal. Garlic powder is the dried (dehydrated garlic cloves) in powder form. In my experience, 1 fresh garlic clove is equal to teaspoon garlic powder.

Substitutes of Garlic

Some friends of you called and told they are coming for dinner. You said Kool and started cooking. Then you check your fridge and found that there is no garlic. Dam! (actually, this happened to me last week, lol). Below are some substitutes if you are traveling or due to any other reason you can’t find fresh garlic.

Garlic Flakes: 1/2 teaspoon = 1 clove
Granulated Garlic = 1/4 teaspoon = 1 clove
Garlic Salt = A fresh garlic clove is equal to ½ garlic salt. Keep in mind if you use garlic salt use less salt in the recipe as it has already salt in it.

How Long is Garlic Good For

How Long is Garlic Good For?

In most cases, garlic doesn’t sell with a “best by” date. If you buy garlic that’s been prepared in any way, whether that means it’s been peeled by the grocery store, become garlic powder, garlic confit, garlic oil, garlic juice or processed into a paste and packaged into a tube, chances are that you will have some sort of expiration date to go off of, but that’s usually not true of fresh garlic bulbs. This article will focus on raw garlic or fresh garlic that comes complete as bulbs in its own all-natural papery skin. Though it doesn’t come with a label stating when it’s no longer good, garlic has its own natural way of telling you that it’s past its prime as an ingredient for cooking.

Factors That Influence Whether Garlic is “Good”

Unlike some foods, it’s a bit foolish to put a specific time limit on your garlic’s freshness. That’s because there’s no set amount of time between purchase and spoilage for garlic. Why is that? There are a few reasons, though it is chiefly because garlic is a natural food that hasn’t been processed and, therefore, tends to do what it likes. You can buy five heads of garlic on the same day and they’ll go bad days or even weeks apart from each other. Let’s explore the reasons behind this so you can get on the road to independently judging garlic before you use it.

Proximity to Growing Location

One big factor that can impact how fast your garlic goes bad is your proximity to its growing location. Garlic that has to travel to you from the other side of the world probably isn’t going to last as long as garlic that grew in your neighbor’s backyard. Though all garlic goes through the same basic process of being picked and drying out a bit before use, the interval between the end of the drying process and when you pick it up and take it home can be entirely unpredictable.

Even if your grocery store or market lists the origins of the garlic you’re buying, you may not be able to tell when it left its point of origin. While locally grown garlic isn’t necessarily guaranteed to stay fresher for longer, it’s a safe bet that garlic grown closer to home was picked not too long ago and it will most likely be stored at room temperature. Garlic that’s imported from far-flung locales needs to travel, often through slow transit methods like ship and train transport, and it can sit in customs for days before being cleared. Then it has to be distributed, sorted and set out for sale. By the time it reaches you, your garlic could already be well past its prime.

Duration in Storage Prior to Purchase

The amount of time it takes for a grocer to set garlic out for sale can also impact how fresh your garlic is when you receive it. In case it isn’t already clear, garlic has a longer period before it goes bad if it hasn’t been sitting around being transported or stored for days and days. This means that grocery stores with a large stock of garlic could theoretically be letting some of that stock gradually go bad as they work through what they have in their storage area.

So, even if you live in an agricultural area that relies on garlic as a major crop, it’s hard to tell exactly how fresh the garlic you’re buying is. It could be that the garlic you buy today is from the same shipment as the garlic you bought six weeks ago. The only way you can know for sure is to ask and you might not get a forthcoming answer. Plus, if the storage facilities your garlic was housed in at any point in this process weren’t properly cooled, that probably means faster spoilage as well.

How to Tell if Garlic Has Gone Bad

As you can see, there isn’t a magic number to let you know exactly when you should toss out your garlic. That doesn’t mean that you can’t tell when garlic is good or bad, though. Here are some things to look out for before you use garlic you aren’t sure about.

Sprouts

Most people assume that green sprouts growing out of their garlic cloves means the head has gone bad, but that’s not the case. Natural health enthusiasts insist that sprouted garlic has health benefits and should be used as normal, but if you don’t agree with this line of reasoning, you can still use your garlic. Just cut the clove in half lengthwise and pull out the sprout. If you really don’t like the taste of sprouted garlic, even without the bitter sprout intact, you can go ahead and throw it away. Better still, you can plant a few of those sprouted cloves and see if they take root and grow into a whole new garlic bulb!

Discoloration

Fresh garlic

Fresh garlic should be a very pale yellow color and it should be opaque. If yours is starting to look dull and brown or even take on a transparent hue, it’s time to toss it. The skin should be predominantly white (unless you’ve purchased purple garlic), but not all garlic is pristine. Remember that this is a crop that grows in the ground, so don’t immediately toss out ahead of garlic if it has some brown spots on the exterior skin. Crack open a clove and judge it that way. The exception here is if the skin smells of mold or mildew or has an obvious fuzzy mold growth. In that case, you can just throw the whole head away.

Texture Changes

Fresh, edible garlic cloves should be firm and smooth. If your garlic is looking withered, mushy or rotten, it’s probably not worth using. There are some exceptions—you might be able to slice a clove in half to get rid of some of the nastier bits, but you can also just use another clove on the same head. Garlic doesn’t go bad all at once and because the individual cloves are segmented and separated from one another by the skin, you may actually find that only one clove has gone off while all the others are fine.

you can read here more about garlic measurements

Top Portable Microwave Reviews

Looking for a way to cook or reheat food on the go? Portable microwave ovens make it easy to eat hot food in a variety of different settings, not just in your kitchen. However, because most microwaves aren’t built for travel, you’ll want to choose carefully within this product category and understand exactly what you’re getting before you purchase so you don’t end up disappointed. These reviews should help you pick just the right mini microwave for your needs.

What You Need to Know About Portable Microwaves

When it comes to portability, microwaves aren’t exactly built to move. These appliances seem simple from the outside, but they actually use complex and potentially dangerous technology, so they must be built properly. Most manufacturers have their hands full creating a useful, reliable and safe microwave for stationary use in the kitchen, so truly portable microwaves that are built to use on the go just aren’t that common.

You may see some options here and there, but they tend to be manufactured by small businesses and don’t present enough of a consumer demand to justify a steady supply. Even among these microwaves built for portability or use in the car, you won’t find many, if any, microwaves with battery power. So it’s important to adjust your expectations; the technology that makes microwave cooking possible just isn’t compatible with small-scale portable appliance design.

For this reason, the countertop microwave ovens we cover in this review article are smaller than average, which makes them suitable for portability in situations such as RV travel or car camping with access to a proper electrical outlet or a portable generator for a decent power level. These microwaves offer less than 1 cubic foot of interior space, which means you probably won’t be able to stick a full dinner plate in there, but smaller items like single-serve frozen dinners or small bowls are likely a good fit.

Where Can I Use a Portable Microwave?

Due to the operational and manufacturing challenges outlined above, most microwaves that are small enough to be considered “portable” are designed for countertop use with a standard 120-volt outlet. This means that most people won’t be able to plug these microwaves into a car’s cigarette lighter, even with an adapter. If you have an RV with proper power or a portable solar generator, though, one of these small-sized microwaves may just do the trick. For example, a trucker could set up his or her microwave on an unused seat in order to quickly heat up food with a small standard microwave.

True Portable Microwave Options

Let’s take a look at some of the common names that come up when shoppers look for the most portable units available. Though most of these products are either manufactured in small quantities, making them difficult to find or are discontinued entirely, if you’re really dedicated you might be able to find something available for purchase in an online specialty store or a resale site like Craigslist or eBay, such as a sturdy stainless steel model with a decent power level.Power Hunt WaveBox

Power Hunt WaveBox is one of the most popular truly portable microwaves ever made—it features a carrying handle on top, a 12-volt car power adapter and thick walls for safety. The company made a few different models with different features, but, unfortunately, they appear to have been discontinued as of September 2017. Power Hunt lists the WaveBox for sale on its website, but product pages have broken links and online retailers like Amazon that list the product tend to list it as unavailable or discontinued. You may be able to find a WaveBox on eBay, though product reviews on other sites offer dramatically mixed reviews of this portable microwave’s performance and longevity.

Semi-Portable Small Microwaves

So, finding a truly portable unit isn’t exactly an easy task, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. These small-size microwaves offer a nice blend of performance, major-brand reliability and small stature that you can easily scoop up and carry from place to place if you need to. We’re focusing on microwaves that are .7 cubic feet, which is the smallest widely-available microwave size manufacturers tend to offer.

Oster OGG3701 Oster OGG3701If you care about looks and performance for your portable microwave, the Oster OGG3701 is a great choice. It has a retro design with exterior knobs and handles that make it a great choice for dorm rooms and RVs. Those knobs and handles could be seen as an inconvenience in a truck or another cramped setting, though, so think carefully about how much space you have to spare for your microwave before choosing this model. Overall dimensions of about 10x13x17 inches make this option slightly larger than the competition, and its 23-pound weight is about average.

Aside from the minor potential drawback presented by the handle and knobs, this is one of the best portable microwave options on the market. It’s widely praised for its reliable performance and surprising power delivered in a small .7 cubic foot package with just 700 watts of max power. This microwave also features a generous range of food-specific settings that allow for quick one-touch cooking for foods such as potatoes, pizza and even fish.

BLACK+DECKER EM720CPN-PBlack+decker 0.7cu. ft.

This small microwave offers .7 cubic feet of interior capacity and runs on 700 watts of power. At about 10x7x14 inches, it’s small enough to fit in most compact spaces, and its overall weight of about 23 pounds means it’s not prohibitively heavy for frequent movement. The EM720CPN-P has multiple cooking settings and lacks an interior turntable, which can be seen as a plus because it both saves space and avoids moving parts that can jar out of place or break in a mobile context.

Overall, the exterior design of this mini microwave is sleek and efficient with a flat top and sides that can stack easily or fit in with other equipment in your truck or RV. However, the front pull handle isn’t integrated with the body of the microwave and while it does have a low profile, this could, theoretically, be seen as a nuisance if you’re working with very limited space.

Best Convection Microwave Reviews

Microwaves are convenient, but they aren’t the best way to get your food crispy. Pop a piece of bread into the microwave and it’ll get hot but stay floppy and untoasted. This means that a lot of people see microwaves not as cooking or toasting appliances but as convenient tools for reheating leftovers, thawing frozen food, or cooking microwave popcorn. However, the convection microwave oven may just change the way you see this common kitchen appliance. Learn more about what convection microwaves do and which specific models are the best available on the market so you can make an ideal purchasing decision.

How are Convection Microwaves Different?

Convection cooking is a principle that circulates warm air at ideal temperatures in a cooking compartment to provide even heating and much faster cooking overall. This principle makes convection ovens quite attractive to those who value convenience in the kitchen and it’s the same principle that applies to convection microwaves. Unlike conventional microwaves, which simply use microwave technology to provide heat, convection microwaves use circulating hot air and microwave technology together to create a super fast and convenient cooking method.

microwave oven

For example, you could cook frozen lasagna in a convection microwave and get the crispy brown edges each time and top you’d get in a convection oven, but it’ll be thawed and bubbly much faster. If you cooked the same frozen lasagna in a conventional microwave, you wouldn’t get as much, if any, browned crispy bits, and it probably wouldn’t be heated through evenly, either. You could then pop it under the grill should you have one, but this takes up more time and space. As you can see, convection microwaves combine the best features from both convection ovens (not regular ovens) and conventional microwaves.

One thing to keep in mind with convection microwaves is that their unique functionality can cause some operational differences you should be mindful of. For one, some plastic that is ordinarily safe for microwaves will not be suitable for use in a convection microwave. Anything that can melt in heat will likely melt in one of these microwaves due to the presence of hot air. Additionally, the interior of the microwave itself may get hot in a way conventional microwaves may not.

Do I Need a Convection Microwave?

Convection microwaves unquestionably add convenience and culinary versatility to the kitchen, but they’re usually more expensive and may require more active monitoring during cooking due to their ability to quickly cook and brown food. However, the speed with which convection microwaves can cook food beats both convection ovens and standard microwaves, making these appliances extremely appealing.

If you already have both a microwave and a convection oven, you may not need a convection microwave unless you frequently cook small dishes in your convection oven. A convection microwave isn’t usually a suitable substitute for a convection oven because these microwaves have the less interior capacity. You probably aren’t going to be able to use your convection microwave to cook a turkey, for example.

Inverter vs. Convection

You may see some microwaves with inverter technology listed in the same space as convection microwaves. Though the two features are functionally similar, they are not the same.

Inverter technology is a feature through which a microwave will operate at a consistent temperature according to the power setting you choose. While most standard microwaves without inverter technology allow the user to select a specific power setting, they provide different power levels by cycling the microwave power on and off. Inverter technology allows for true power control without cycling, which provides even heating and better cooking experience overall.

chicken roastHowever, this is not the same as convection cooking as inverter microwaves still only use microwave technology to provide heat. Inverter microwaves may include a convection feature, but this isn’t always the case. So, if you’re looking for a convection feature in specific, make sure the microwave you choose explicitly offers this feature.

Best Convection Microwave Reviews

KitchenAid KMHC319ESS

KitchenAid KMHC319ESSThis sleek over-the-range convection microwave delivers exactly the kind of reliable performance and thoughtful features one might expect from a trusted culinary brand like KitchenAid. With 1000 watts of convection cooking power that can reach 425 degrees Fahrenheit and 1.9 cubic feet of interior capacity, the KMHC319ESS is a powerhouse of a microwave.

Helpful additional features include an interior rack that allows for dual-level cooking, a feature that introduces an unprecedented level of convenience for most people who’ve used microwaves before. Other convenient features include a steam self-clean feature to keep the microwave’s interior free from caked-on buildup and a keep-warm feature that competes with your full-size oven for convenience. This ultra futuristic microwave even has a sound-sensitive popcorn feature that responds to the sound of kernels popping to stop the cooking cycle and avoid burning.

Samsung MC12J8035CTSamsung MC12J8035CT If you’re looking for a countertop convection microwave, the Samsung MC12J8035CT may be your best bet. With 1.2 cubic feet of interior capacity and 1,650 watts of cooking power, this microwave isn’t massive, but it is large enough to accommodate larger food such as roast chicken and small-medium-sized pizzas.

 

One unique feature that makes this convection microwave oven special is its Slim Fry air frying setting, which allows you to cook up crispy fried foods such as French fries or even fried chicken without deep-fat immersion. It also boasts a durable and easy-to-clean ceramic enamel interior that will look great through heavy use. The minimalistic black design on this microwave will look great on your countertops, too.

GE Profile PEB9159DJBB 

GE Profile PEB9159DJBB

Mid-sized at 1.0 cubic feet and featuring 1,000 watts of cooking power, this isn’t the biggest or most powerful convection microwave on the block, but it does its job well if you don’t plan on doing any serious high-power cooking with your microwave. In addition to its convection and warming-tray capabilities, this GE convection microwave has a clever recessed turntable feature that allows your food to rotate while cooking without taking up too much space in the microwave’s cooking compartment.

Though it’s designed as a countertop model, this convection microwave from GE has an optional trim kit you can use to convert it to a built-in, freeing up more space on your countertops. The PEB9159DJBB also comes in several different colors, including black, white and stainless steel, a handy design feature that will make it even easier to integrate into your kitchen.

Best Over the Range Microwave

Pulling double-duty as both a range hood and a microwave oven, the appliances in this product category are a great investment for anyone looking for a built-in microwave with maximum utility. Whether you’re remodelling your kitchen or simply looking for ways to make the space more efficient, an over-the-range microwave is a great option to consider for the area above your stove. Explore the possibilities on offer with this class of microwaves and learn our picks for the best of the bunch in this category. Whether you choose to get one of our chosen models or not, you should have enough information to make an informed decision by the time you finish reading this handy guide.

Over-the-Range Microwave

Best Over The Range Microwave 2019

What to Look For in an Over-the-Range Microwave

In addition to all the factors, you should consider when shopping for any microwave oven, including cubic feet capacity, overall dimensions, features and brand, over-the-range microwave ovens require some special consideration. Take these criteria into account as you examine our best-of picks below. Knowing exactly what you’re looking for before you start making your final selection can be helpful too, so don’t hesitate to start taking measurements and looking at design plans now.

Range Hood Features

What do you need from a range hood? Even if you don’t cook much, you’ll want to make sure the over-the-range microwave you purchase includes a full set of features. This includes an overhead light and an exhaust fan that either attaches to an exterior vent duct or operates on a recirculating basis with no need for exterior venting. Bare-bones models may simply offer on-off switches for both features, but more advanced options usually offer settings to control the intensity of the light and the fan.

Door Open Direction



The direction in which your microwave door opens—left to right, right to left or drop down—may be a particularly important concern if you’re installing the over the range appliance in a small kitchen or in a crowded space with a lot of cabinets. If the microwave and range are at the end of your counter next to a wall, for example, you could do yourself a disservice by getting a microwave with a door that opens toward the wall. Sure, the appliance may still work just fine, but it’s going to get pretty annoying not being able to open your microwave door all the way and having to worry about damaging the drywall with the microwave’s handle. Consider the layout of the kitchen before choosing to avoid issues like this.

Color

While color isn’t always an important feature to consider while shopping for a microwave, things change quite a bit when you’re considering a permanent addition to your kitchen. That’s especially true when considering the proximity between your stove/oven range combo and the microwave overhead. The colors should match exactly or at least coordinate to avoid poor design flow. For example, if your range is black, choose a black microwave. There is some room for deviation from the matchy-matchy look, but not much. That black range, for example, may look nice underneath to an over-the-range microwave in stainless steel with black accents. A white or bisque range, however, might not look so great with a black-and-metallic microwave overhead.

If you’re looking for a big, powerful over-the-range microwave oven with a lot of great features, this 2.2 cubic foot model from LG is just what you need. That interior capacity alone bests just about every other competitor in this category. There’s room for a rack inside the microwave, meaning you can double the capacity of what you ordinarily heat up or cook with no problems. Homeowners with busy kitchens or large families are likely to appreciate this and choose the LMHM2237BD based on this information alone.

Luckily, that’s not all this capable microwave can do. It’s got a sleek exterior design with smudge-resistant coating for easy cleaning and the interior of the microwave features EasyClean technology to make regular tidying up a breeze. The range hood features are also impressive, with an internal charcoal filter ensuring that all the air recirculated into the kitchen actually smells good.

Measuring in at 2.0 cubic feet capacity and an interior rack, this KitchenAid microwave is only slightly smaller than its biggest competitors, but its legions of admiring fans don’t seem to mind. KitchenAid is a trusted brand in culinary appliances, making this over the range microwave an easy sell for those who already love the brand’s mixers and other culinary electronics. But they aren’t just resting on their laurels with this microwave. Thoughtful features such as an easy-clean interior and a stoppable turntable allow for stress-free, customizable operation.

This microwave also features charcoal air filtering and a powerful vent to suction steam and smoke out of the kitchen when you need it. Beyond these basic features, the KMHS120ESS is an excellent option if you want to actually use your microwave for cooking. Settings that allow for sensor-monitored simmering and steaming can free up room on the stove as you cook vegetables and other side dishes in the microwave instead. You can even take food out of the oven and use the microwave’s low-power Keep Warm setting as a warming tray!

Though it’s smaller than the other two models discussed here, the 1.7 cubic feet this microwave features is more than enough for most people. Available in multiple colors and featuring a multi-speed vent fan, this over the range microwave from Whirlpool is a great buy if you don’t need something super fancy but still care about functionality and reliability. Cleanup is a breeze with this model too thanks to the dishwasher-safe turntable plate and all the basics, including easy-to-use controls, are in place. Overall, this is a solid basic microwave for over the range use, presenting the best budget-friendly option in its class.