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The Best Mini Food Processor: Your Complete Guide

Without a doubt, a mini food processor is a handy piece of equipment to have in your kitchen. Food prep becomes a breeze as the little wonder whirs away whole ingredients and delivers perfectly pureed results. Once you choose the best mini food processor to fit your kitchen needs, you will never want to be without one. Not only is their versatility impressive, but they are also discreet when it comes to storage. Now, all those things that made you shun the thought of cooking a delicious meal because of the food prep involved no longer matter.

The market is now flooded with many food processor brands, including Cuisinart, the direct descendant of the original food processor, and the Robot Coupe by French salesman Pierre Verdon. With time, other kitchen appliances like the blender and mixer have entered the fray and convoluted the specific functions of each of them. You can blend with your food processor as well as your blender. So what plays which role?

Comparison Table

Everything You Need To Know About Mini Food Processors

Let's take a look at the specific role a mini food processor will serve in your kitchen.

What Is The Role Of A Food Processor?

A food processor is ideal for shredding, chopping, and finely grating vegetables into a smoother consistency than you would achieve by hand. A blender obliterates ingredients like fruits and vegetables, creating a fluid-like consistency. A mixer is primarily for integrating baking ingredients into each other and is not meant to cut veggies or blend smoothies.

What Should You look For In A Mini Food Processor?

best mini food processor

The best mini food processor should be able to meet your food prep needs. You should consider the size of the chopper bowl, typically ranging from two to five cups, the motor power, and of course safety features such a non-slip base and the presence of a feeder tube. When it comes to the brand, it is better to go with a reputable one where the products have a warranty.

How Important Is Motor Power In A Mini Food Processor?

different color of food processor

A powerful motor between 400 to 600 watts on a mini food processor will generally provide more than sufficient blade rotation power to dice even the hardest of veggies or crush ice cubes to slush. Ideally, the motor mechanism should produce minimal noise. Most food processors will tend to have a high and low motor setting that allows you to adjust the motor's power accordingly to suit food processing needs. However, some mini processors will have motor power as low as 200 watts. These can work great if your food prep is minimal.

Are Manual Food Processors A Good Option?

manual food processor

They are a great option -- especially if electricity is scant. These are the best mini food processors for outdoor activities like camping or in the case of RV homes or homes with smaller kitchens. The workings of such processors are simple, but they efficiently cut veggies, fruits, and even boneless meat with ease.

 Just close the lid and yank the cord several times to get the blades rotating and chopping the ingredients.

What Is "BPA-free?"

When you buy a mini food processor, the material used for construction should be BPA-free. BPA stands for an industrial chemical known as Bisphenol A that is used in making polycarbonate plastics and resins. Research is still ongoing on the effects of BPA on health, but most companies that deal with plastics that are used daily refrain from using it in their products. The FDA findings are that BPA is safe at the current levels present in foods. However, to be on the safe side, you may want to use BPA-free mini food processors. That is an important consideration when choosing the best mini food processor.

Common Features To Expect In The Best Mini Food Processor

Standard features found on the best mini food processor include a powerful motor, a two to eight cup chopper bowl, stainless steel or ceramic blades, high and low power motor settings, multi-tasking options, BPA-free plastic, and a warranty.

The price of the best mini food processor will vary from one manufacturer to another depending on design, quality of construction, and materials used, as well as the power of the motor. Also, the mini food processor's ability to multi-task and its efficiency in performance impact the price. The general price range you can expect on some of the best mini food processors will be between $$ and $$$.

How We Reviewed

The construction, aesthetics, and performance were the key areas we looked at in this review. That includes the appliance’s ability to multi-task and the actual tasks it can perform. We also looked at the ease of use and the motor power as well as safety features. Aside from product specifications, we also consulted customer reviews to gain insight into how satisfied customers are with their purchase.

The 8 Best Mini Food Processors To Buy

With so many offerings on the market, finding the best mini food processor can be time-consuming and even confusing. Here are the best eight to choose from.

Sale
Ninja 400-Watt Blender/Food Processor for Frozen Blending, Chopping and Food Prep with 48-Ounce Pitcher and 16-Ounce Chopper Bowl (QB900B), Silver
  • Frozen blending and perfect, even chopping
  • 2 conveniently sized jars. EASY TO USE : Ergonomic operation with one touch pulsing creates an easy to use and safe product
  • Anti-spill splash guard, easy-flip pour spout, and no-slip base
  • 2-cup Processor minces, dices, chops, blends and purees
  • Includes: 400 Watt Power Pod, 48 oz. Pitcher, Stacked Blade Assembly, Pitcher Splash Guard, 16 oz. Chopper Bowl, Chopping Blade Assembly, Chopper Splash Guard

The design of this appliance adds character to any kitchen counter. It comes with two chopper bowls: two cups (16 ounces) and six cups (48 ounces). The chopper bowl has a chute for safety as you drop ingredients in it. The Ninja Master Prep qualifies as the best mini food processor for many users because it can be used for food prep whether you are entertaining or just family.

It has a 400-watt motor, which provides sufficient power and works in tandem with stacked stainless steel blades to efficiently prepare ingredients. The blades are rust-proof and super sharp. It can work on ice cubes and frozen fruit in addition to regular vegetables. It is easy to use, as the pod contains only one pulse button for control, giving you consistent results every time.

Pros

  • Wide non-slip base and chute in the processing bowl ensure safety when in use
  • Removable parts are dishwasher friendly
  • BPA-free
  • One year warranty

Cons

  • Does not have dough kneading ability

This product won a Housewares Design Award, making it indeed one of the best mini food processors. Consumers rate it at 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. It is also available at Walmart. The average price ranges from $$ to $$.

Rating

Cuisinart DLC-2A Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor (White)
  • 250-watt food processor with 3-cup plastic work bowl
  • Chops and grinds with patented reversible stainless-steel blade
  • Simple push-button control panel; durable, yet lightweight plastic body
  • Dishwasher-safe bowl and lid for quick cleanup; spatula included
  • Product Built to North American Electrical Standards

Small food preparations are made easier by this appliance due to its remarkable ability to chop, slice, and dice various types of food. It works efficiently on hard veggies and also grinds cheese to the consistency you want. The operation is pretty smooth and fairly silent as the 250-watt motor spins stainless steel blades, pureeing ingredients to a smooth consistency.

The overall construction is squat, with plenty of plastic parts, and it is very sturdy. The unit comes with one 24-ounce (or 3-cup) processing work bowl. There are only two touch control buttons: chop and grind. You will find this appliance very easy to use. It is small enough to store away discreetly, and it doesn’t take up much room on the counter top.

Pros

  • Uses an auto reverse smart power blade mechanism for efficient chopping
  • All removable parts are dishwasher friendly
  • Chopper bowl comes with a handle
  • BPA-free
  • 18-month limited warranty

Cons

  • The 250-watt motor can struggle when chopping or grinding hard items
  • Comes with only one bowl, offering less versatility

It comes in different color variations, including white and black, and also includes a recipe book for good measure. This appliance has a consumer rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon. It is also available at Walmart and the Cuisinart website. The price ranges from $$ to $4 depending on which vendor you purchase from.

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Chef'n VeggiChop Hand-Powered Food Chopper (Arugula)
  • Chop large pieces of fruit, vegetables, boneless meats, herbs, nuts, and even ice by hand with this handy chopper.
  • Running without electricity, this hand-powered chopper is great for small kitchens, RVs, travel, and camping.
  • Simply place ingredients in the container, twist and lock the lid, and pull the cord to spin the chopping blades.
  • Perfect for whipping up batches of pesto, hummus, salsa, guacamole, and more, this chopper also comes with a sealing storage lid to keep ingredients in the container.
  • Wash the blades, bowl, and storage lid on the top rack of the dishwasher.

The simplicity of this manually driven food processor is its biggest selling point. You'd think that you would be breaking a sweat cutting boneless meat, grinding nuts, chopping veggies, or even crushing ice manually. Not with this manual mini food processor. As with other manual options, once you have your ingredients in the chopping bowl and you have safely locked the lid, all you have to do is pull the cord, and the blades will go to work.

It comes in two color variations: red and green. The blades are extra sharp to ensure you do not expend a lot of energy processing your ingredients.

Pros

  • Simple manual mechanism
  • Bowl, blades, and lids are dishwasher safe. Wash
    on the top rack of the dishwasher
  • Inexpensive
  • Does not require electricity
  • Ideal for camping, RVs, small kitchens, and travel

Cons

  • Slower than automatic counterparts
  • You have to work with very few ingredients at a time

If your area is prone to frequent blackouts, or you are living off the grid, this manual appliance is ideal. The Amazon consumer rating on this item is 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. Depending on where you buy it the price ranges from $20 to $30. You can also buy it from Chefn.com.

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Pampered Chef Cutting Edge Food Chopper
  • Stainless Steel Blade
  • 9¼" height, 3¼" diameter.
  • Dishwasher top rack safe

The design of this appliance is quite unconventional, but the results are pleasant. It is also easy to assemble and disassemble as required. The transparent chopping bowl allows you to see all the chopping action. It is very easy to use and requires little manual effort. You simply push down the plunger at the top of the unit and this action will rotate the stainless steel blades. The more you push the plunger, the finer the cut of ingredients in the chopping bowl.

It will cut anything from cooked meat to veggies or nuts.

Pros

  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Does not require electricity
  • Compact build and fits in smaller kitchens
  • Stainless steel blade
  • Has a five-year warranty
  • Can grind frozen food and hard foods like nuts

Cons

  • The manual mechanism takes longer for food prep than automatic motors

The plunger has a soft top, so the impact on your hand is comfortable when you push down. This manual mini food processor is surprisingly effective despite its simplicity, and it is rated at 4.5 out of 5.0 stars by consumers on Amazon. Pampered Chef also stocks it. It has a price range of between $$ and $$ depending on which vendor you purchase from.

Rating

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Cuisinart DLC-10SY Pro Classic 7-Cup Food Processor, White
  • Includes medium slicing disc (4mm), shredding disc, and new stainless steel chopping blade
  • Also includes small and large pushers, detachable disc stem, compact flat cover, spatula, and recipe book
  • Extra-large feed tube holds whole fruits and vegetables; BPA-free and dishwasher-safe parts
  • Powerful enough to knead bread dough with ease; Easy to use and clean
  • Five-year full motor warranty, three-year limited entire unit warranty

This offering has a superb compact design that not only looks good on your kitchen counter but also occupies little space. It is easy to use because the three-cup transparent prep bowl locks into place with a simple twist. The blades of this mini food processor are stainless steel and are reversible to allow chopping and grinding actions. It has high and low motor speeds.

Pros

  • Two-speed small processor
  • Rustproof blades
  • 18-month warranty

Cons

  • Only one prep bowl giving less versatility

Small and compact, it goes anywhere on the kitchen counter. Consumers rate this product at 4.0 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon. The price ranges from $$ to $$ depending on which vendor you buy from.

Rating

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Hamilton Beach 70740 8-Cup Food Processor, Black
  • Prepare an endless variety of food fast
  • Puree pesto and dips, shred cheese, slice salad & more
  • 8 cup capacity
  • 2 speeds plus pulse control
  • Stainless steel slice/shred disc and chopping blade

Although this mini food processor comes with only one bowl, the capacity of the chopper bowl more than makes up for that. It can take in eight cups at once. The blades and shredding disc are stainless steel and can shred, chop, slice, and puree veggies and cheese with quick efficiency. It has a powerful 450-watt motor and is equipped with an easy-to-use two pulse knob to control motor speed. The design is a stable black base that sits low and houses the motor. The chopper bowl is transparent with a feeder tube that can fit a whole block of cheese.

Pros

  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Motor speed control knob
  • Top rack dishwasher safe for the lid, blades, and bowl
  • Compact design

Cons

  • Comes with only one bowl

Consumers loved the efficiency of this mini food processor and rated it at 4.0 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon. Alternatively, you can get it from Walmart. The price ranges from $$ to $$.

Rating

Ninja Blender/Food Processor with 450-Watt Base, 48oz Pitcher, 16oz Chopper Bowl, and 40oz Processor Bowl for Shakes, Smoothies, and Meal Prep (QB1004)
  • Interchangeable 450-watt power pod
  • 48 oz. pitcher for frozen blending and smoothies
  • 40 oz. bowl for food processing and meal preparation
  • 16 oz. chopper bowl for even chopping
  • All jars include convenient storage lids, are dishwasher safe, and are BPA free

The Ninja food chopper design is sleek and compact, occupying little space on the kitchen counter, while still maintaining a good look. These are two traits the best mini food processor of 2019 should definitely have. The two cup chopper bowl comes with stainless stack designed steel blades for cutting and chopping. It has a 200-watt motor and a two pulse speed. However, you can only work with limited ingredients.

Pros

  • Petite design
  • Multi-task blend, puree, and chop
  • Splash guard
  • Non-slip base
  • Dishwasher safe
  • BPA-free
  • One year warranty

Cons

  • 200-watt motor may not be as efficient in chopping harder veggies and frozen fruit

Consumers love this little power horse, and their rating for this product stands at 4.5 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon. You can also buy it from Walmart. The price ranges from $$ to $$.

Rating

Sale
KitchenAid KFC3516CU 3.5 Cup Food Chopper, Contour Silver
  • 3.5 cup work bowl features a locking blade, handle and pour spout for easy serving.
  • Master tasty dressings and sauces with the drizzle basin.
  • 2 speeds and pulse operation give you precise control to produce coarse or fine results.
  • Compact and lightweight, the mini food processor is the perfect size for everyday use in the kitchen.
  • Easy to clean, dishwasher-safe work bowl, lid and blade.

The design is good looking and compact, occupying minimal space on a kitchen counter or in a drawer. It also packs an exclusive exact slice system to make sure your salads presentations are special. It just takes a slide of the lever, and it produces thick to thin slices of fruit or veggies.

The usage is very simple and includes a high and low motor pulse for control. The seven-cup chopping chamber is designed with two feeder tubes of different diameters so you can choose which one to use for smaller and larger ingredients. It prevents spills and splashes as the chopping chamber is sealed with tight rings. It also has a specially designed locking system so that there are no leaks.

Pros

  • Seven-cup chopping bowl
  • Removable parts are top rack dishwasher friendly
  • BPA-free
  • One year warranty

Cons

  • Comes with only one bowl, providing no versatility when prepping ingredients

Consumers rate it at 4.0 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon. Alternatively, you can purchase it from Kitchenaid's website. The price ranges from $$ to $$$ depending on which vendor you buy from.

Rating

The Best Mini Food Processor

The Hamilton Beach 8-Cup Food Processor with Compact Storage takes the day as the best mini food processor on our list because of its powerful 450-watt motor and excellent performance. Although the motor power cannot be the sole determinant, it does play a huge role in the performance and efficiency of the blade actions.

This becomes evident when you pit the Hamilton Beach against the 200-watt Ninja Express, 250-watt Cuisinart Mini-Prep, or the manual mini food processor options. However, this is not to say that they do not have their benefits.

It offers the best value for money in the mini food processor category because of motor strength as well a chopper bowl capacity of eight cups with a feeder tube for safety. That’s in addition to a compact design that takes up little space on your counter. It is definitely the best mini food processor of 2019.

Do you own any of the items on this list, or think we missed a product? Let us know in a comment!

The Best Dutch Oven: Easier to Clean and Require Less Maintenance

Are you having a difficult time selecting the best Dutch oven? Do you feel a tad overwhelmed? Don’t worry about that. Dutch ovens have a long history and have existed for centuries. Over time, innovators have improved their designs thus creating lots of choices. Finding the best one is easier than you think, with the right information.

The best Dutch oven means the best one for you. It doesn't matter how great, or how high quality, a kitchen gadget or pot or pan is -- if it doesn't suit your needs, you'll never use it. A Dutch oven is one of those things that if you choose the right one, you'll never be able to figure out how you lived without it. They're versatile, sturdy, and can last a lifetime. Some can go from the lake to your kitchen with ease, others are specialists in either indoor or outdoor cooking.

There really isn't a limit to the usefulness of this largely overlooked but amazingly handy pot.

Comparison Table

Dutch Ovens 101

cooking pot

You probably already know that Dutch ovens are cooking pots with thick walls and tight-fitting covers. But there is more to them than that. And understanding other characteristics of this cookware will help you to choose wisely. It's worth understanding these awesome cooking vessels.

Types Of Dutch Ovens

Two significant types of Dutch ovens exist. Their design and purpose are somewhat different.

Camp Dutch Ovens

cookwear

The Dutch ovens for camping are often made of cast iron. Some are mostly aluminum. These are quite popular for outside use due to their design. Many of them have three legs that allow the oven to be raised over the campfire coals. They also have a tight-fitting, recessed lid designed to hold hot coals to ensure proper cooking of the food within the cookware.

In-house Dutch Ovens

ceramic cook wear

Modern Dutch ovens are flat bottomed. They do have a tight lid like their campfire counterparts which, is not necessarily recessed because they are designed for indoor use. The materials used to make them vary. It includes cast iron, aluminum, ceramic, and enameled metal or ceramic.

Uses For Dutch Ovens

red casseroles

Dutch ovens are used for a variety of cooking tasks. You can use them to bake, stew, and fry your food. These pots are safe to use in your oven and on the stovetop. Not to mention they're great on open campfires. Due to their ability to retain heat, Dutch ovens are also excellent for making casseroles, roasts, and stews. Anything that requires slow cooking will actually do well within these ovens.

How To Choose The Best Dutch Oven

Before you select the best Dutch oven, you need to consider the right factors. Here are some of the criteria you can use to choose the best Dutch ovens for your needs.

Design And Intended Use

Where you plan to use the Dutch oven the most determines which one you should get. If you want something for the outdoors, then consider the ovens with the stubby toes. It will be convenient. A flat-bottomed Dutch oven is a much better option for regular indoor use.

Those for use in the kitchen may have ovenproof handles for easy insertion and removal from your oven. Also, make sure the walls are thick enough, and the lids fit correctly. There should be no cracks on the oven surfaces. The shapes vary with some being round and others oval. Round Dutch ovens are better for stovetop cooking.

Maintenance Required

Are you willing to expend some effort in maintaining your Dutch oven? If not, you may want to avoid the cast-iron Dutch ovens. They are some of the best around, but you need to season them before you use them for the first time and after each use. The care required is the same as that for cast-iron frying pans. You'll need to hand wash them, heat them, then coat them with oil, and store the oven well after use. Enamel ovens are much easier to clean and require less maintenance.

Capacity

How many people do you intend to feed on a regular basis? Your cooking needs will determine the size of your Dutch oven. Try and buy larger Dutch ovens if you want to cook for many people. The size is usually measured in quarts and varies from 2 to 14 quarts.

Brand And warranty

Do take the time to shop for the best Dutch ovens from reputable brands. These include Lodge, Le Creuset, Cuisinart, and Staub among others. You can find these brand products on sites like Amazon, and brick and mortar stores like Costco. Reputable manufacturers tend to offer warranties for their products, which ensures you can get a replacement or refund if they are defective

Customer Testimonials

Read through customer ratings and reviews to ensure that the best Dutch oven you are thinking of selecting is functional in reality. That will save you lots of money in the future.

Price Ranges For Dutch Ovens

The best Dutch oven prices vary depending on size, type of material used to make it, brand reputation, and whether the cookware is new or used. These ovens vary from $$ on the low end to $800 on the higher end. You can find something to suit your budget.

How We Reviewed

To determine the best Dutch oven for your needs, we considered the design, cost, and size. We also thought about the materials used to make the oven, the brand, and customer testimonials.

The Best Dutch Ovens

The following are our choices for the best Dutch oven. Our goal was to find something to suit a wide variety of budgets, design tastes, and cooking needs.

This Dutch oven is one of Amazon’s choice products. It’s enameled oven with a cast-iron core. That gives it the excellent heat distribution qualities of the metal but none of the maintenance complications. The Dutch oven has a tight-fitting cover, and loop side handles for easy carrying. It comes in blue, green, and red.

This particular Dutch oven has a 6–quart capacity. It’s heavy duty and oven safe and can withstand temperatures of up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use it for multiple cooking functions such as roasting, baking, and even food storage. It comes with a limited one-year warranty from Amazon.

On Amazon, this Dutch oven has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. It costs $$ to $$. Customers love it because it is low maintenance, is affordable, and retains heat well. However, some customers complain of defective ovens that came with chipped enamels and rusty parts.

Rating

This camp Dutch oven has a 5-quart capacity, which is a decent size for up to six people. It is made of cast iron, which is sturdy, and durable when well-seasoned. The cast iron is also excellent in distributing heat which makes this oven the best option for outdoor cooking.

The Lodge Dutch oven has a recessed lid for proper and convenient placement of coals. This multifunctional lid can be inverted and used as a griddle. It also has a metal handle for easy removal or placement of the oven over the campfire. Its three legs also ensure that you can raise it over hot coals. Besides that, this particular Dutch oven comes pre-seasoned.

On Amazon, this oven has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. It costs $$ to $$. Customers love it because it provides excellent value for the money, is of good quality, and comes pre-seasoned. However, some customers complain of defective ovens with cracks, some of which are poorly seasoned, and others with rusty parts.

Rating

This round Dutch oven has a capacity of 7.25 quarts. That makes it large enough for about 8 to 10 people and is thus an excellent option for large families. It is enameled and has a cast-iron core. That improves its heat retention qualities while being easy to clean.

The interior of this oven has sand-colored enamel, which withstands wear and tear better. Its well-fitting lid has a composite knob that can withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Besides that, the oven has large side handles that make it easy to carry with oven mitts.

On Amazon, this Dutch oven has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. It costs $$$ to $$$. Customers love it because it retains the heat exceptionally well, looks attractive, is easy to clean, and is non-toxic. Some customers, however, complain of defective ovens with enamel chips and cracks.

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The Cuisinart Dutch oven has a porcelain enamel and cast-iron core. The coating is non-toxic and does not react with foods nor impart flavors. It also doesn’t absorb food odors. The cast-iron inner body helps to ensure even heat distribution and retention. For this reason, this casserole dish is sturdy, durable, and dishwasher safe.

The oval-shaped Dutch oven has two large handles on each end to allow for easy transportation. The knob is oven safe also is therefore durable. It’s stylish color, finishing, and design makes this casserole dish excellent not just for cooking but entertaining. At 5.5 quarts, this Dutch oven offers a decent size that can accommodate about six people.

On Amazon, this oven has a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. It costs $$ to $$. Customers love it because it can withstand higher temperatures, offers excellent value for the money, and has a stylish design. However, one outstanding complaint is that some of the ovens had chipped enamel coating.

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The Tramontina Dutch oven has a blue enamel coating that covers a cast-iron inner body. It’s therefore stylish, easy to clean, sturdy, and durable. The cast iron core also enhances heat distribution and retention. You can use it for slow cooking and baking.

This Dutch oven has a 6.5-quart capacity. That makes it large enough to accommodate 8 to 10 people. The sides have a handle each for easy transportation. Also, the oven comes with a tight-fitting lid that has a stainless steel knob capable of withstanding temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. And the lid interior has self-basting condensation ridges that help to keep moisture in the food.

On Amazon, this Dutch oven has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. It costs $$ to $$$. Customers love it because it is sturdy, provides excellent value for money, and is comfortable to clean. However, some customers complain of defective ovens whose enamel coating chipped and peeled off within a short time of use.

Rating

This Dutch oven has an aluminum inner core. The material is lighter than cast iron and thus makes this oven much easier to carry. It also heats up faster. Besides that, it is sturdy and durable. Additionally, the cookware has a coating of Ceramtec ceramic. It is thus nonstick, easy to clean, and compatible with all stovetops. It’s also oven safe.

The aluminum Dutch oven has a 5-quart capacity, which makes it a good fit for up to 6 people. Its lid has double lips that help to seal in moisture thus ensuring natural food basting and flavor retention. There is also a valve that regulates the amount of steam within the oven.

On Amazon, this Dutch oven has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. It costs $$ to $$. Customers love it because it is easy to clean, has a high-quality construction, and has a provision for steam venting. However, some customers complain that the coating is not scratch resistant.

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The gray Dutch oven is made of enameled cast iron thus making it low maintenance. It has a high-gloss interior that enhances its simple but stylish design. The bottom is completely flat for use on induction cooktops. This Dutch oven also comes in matte white, iron red, and superior blue.

With a 6-quart capacity, this Dutch oven can accommodate about 6 to 8 people. Its loop handles enable you to grip them with oven mitts when necessary, for easy transportation. Besides that, it's oven safe and can withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.

On Amazon, this oven has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. It costs $$ to $$. Customers love it because it provides excellent value for the money, is easy to clean, and has a lifetime warranty. Some customers, however, complain of defective products with chipped enamel coating.

Rating

Find The Best Dutch Oven

The best Dutch oven your money can buy may end up being one of the best decisions you ever make. It will be an excellent addition because it's capable of replacing multiple cookware. So take the time to find one that is the right size, and design, and which offers the most suitable functionality without exceeding your budget.

The Best Spice Rack To Bring Flavor And Variety To Your Kitchen

best spice rack

Spices and herbs are the secrets to adding flavor and depth to your cooking. The best spice rack can be your flavor ally. Not only do spice racks put ingredients at your fingertips, but they also help organize your kitchen and keep the ingredients fresh.

Expired kitchen spices are a common problem for many households. Someone shares an exciting recipe with you, and you hit the market to buy the ingredients, only to find yourself wondering if you still have that small jar of cloves or garlic powder. When you get home, you frantically search your disorganized cabinet. Some bottles are standing upright. Others — usually the small, squat ones with pumpkin pie blends — have rolled to the back of the cabinet.

The best spice rack solves two problems. First, it gives you a flavor toolkit. Then, the rack keeps your spices under control.

Comparison Table

The Importance Of Spices In Cooking

Herbs And spices

Spices hold an essential role in culinary history. As flavor enhancers, spices and herbs help expand early human diets. Spices are critical to many preservation techniques, such as smoking and curing, and can mask less than desirable flavors in certain foods that are dried or aged.

Today, preservation is less of a concern in most countries, but we've become accustomed to spice flavors. For the most part, spices add character and taste to foods without increasing calories, fat or cholesterol. A dish with well-balanced spices can have less fat while retaining a delicious taste.

Modern Spice Usage

Also, people today are more adventurous with their dining choices. We live in a global world, where access to information spreads exotic recipes with ease. Today, spices such as smoked paprika, za'atar, Chinese five spice blend, and garam masala are just as likely to be in a recipe as black pepper and garlic.

Storage Issues With Spices

spices in the kitchen utensil

The increased variety and popularity of spices can result in an overloaded kitchen cabinet. Spices often come in small, non-uniform bottles that can rattle around in a cabinet, where they get lost among other ingredients. One of the best ways to address spice storage issues is by using a spice rack. The best spice rack keeps flavors close at hand, and ready for use in any recipe.

Shelflife

A significant problem relating to spice storage is shelf life. While many spices can help preserve flavors, they lose potency and quality within two to three years after opening. Three years may seem like a long time, but if you've been living at your home for long, you might have a tiny jar of ground mustard or celery salt from the last decade hiding in a cupboard. Old spices aren't necessarily going to make you sick, but they won't taste as good as the fresh stuff.

The best spice rack keeps your spice supply visible. With a spice rack, you are more likely to know what you have and which spices you need. Not to mention, having them in your line of sight may help you remember to experiment more with your flavors.

Organization

A good spice rack is all about organization. Spices can be alphabetized, or arranged based on use or cuisine. If you like adding a cajun zip to your meals, you might prominently feature a jar of cayenne or your favorite blackening rub, for example. Many spice racks come with uniform containers that you label and fill, while others accommodate popular spice jar shapes.

Some spice racks aren't racks at all but are magnetic systems to suspend small metal jars on your refrigerator or a metal panel in your cupboard or pantry. Other racks come pre-loaded with a variety of spices, so you don't have to stock the rack yourself.

Appearance - Blending With Your Kitchen Decor

kitchen decor

Another spice rack concern is how the contraptions look in one's kitchen. Whether your design aesthetic is sleekly modern or country chic, spice racks can be an eyesore. The best spice rack either blends in with your style or stays out of view. Those magnetic metal jars fit in with an industrial looking kitchen or alongside stainless-steel appliances. For a rustic kitchen, a rack made of beautiful polished wood might be just the thing to complete your look.

Reviewing The Best Spice Rack

best spice rack

While individual spice rack needs may vary considerably, there are many excellent choices for today's consumer. In determining the best spice rack, we wanted to feature a broad range of styles and options, then pick the best overall.

How We Reviewed

In addition to selecting several top choices, we focused on customer comments on everything from ease of use to build quality in determining the best spice rack. Since we are not comparing apples to apples, we felt it crucial to find a spice rack that is not only functional but affordable, durable and convenient as well.

10 Best Spice Racks

Our 10 highlighted spice racks range from simple wall-mounted models to fully-pre-stocked premium wooden racks. We note the features and benefits of each, price ranges and survey specific customer reviews. Here are the top 10 spice racks available today, in no particular order.

Kamenstein makes several different spice racks, but most are small countertop models. The Kamenstein 16 jar model is simple, compact and easy to navigate. Instead of scanning through a long line of spices in a linear rack, this model spins like a lazy susan. Best of all, this rack comes fully-loaded with 16 popular spices, dried herbs, and spice blends. These include marjoram, basil, celery salt, crushed mint, parsley, chives, sea salt, bay leaves, coriander, fennel, herbes de Provence, rosemary, pizza seasoning, Italian seasoning, oregano, and seasoned salt.

Not only does the Kamenstein come with these spices, but it also provides refills for five years after purchase.

Prices for the Kamenstein range from $$ to $$.

Customers love this spice rack. Some note that the rack design is easy to use, and would be a great value even if the kit did not include a bounty of spice and free refills. Some, however, criticized the lack of certain staple spices, such as garlic powder and cinnamon.

Not all top spice racks come pre-loaded with ingredients, and some are just empty racks. Many people prefer to buy their spices from a variety of sources, and therefore do not want pre-loaded contents. The Rubbermaid pull-down spice rack is an organizational tool for those who already have a pantry full of spices. This rack is perfect for those who want a storage solution that is convenient and easy to use. Shorter cooks benefit from the pull-down feature, which brings your spice selection down to your level, without having to get on tiptoes or a step stool

Prices for the Rubbermaid rack range from $$ to $$.

Customers enjoyed the stadium-seating display for spices. Users indicate that the rack holds 21 McCormick glass spice jars — which are some of the most common. Some negative comments noted that mounting instructions were difficult to understand and that if mounted incorrectly, the rack system does not work well.

For a spice rack that is fit for display in any home, the AllSpice 30 jar wooden spice rack is a pricey, but beautiful product. It is available in seven different wood finishes and holds Penzey's Spice-sized jars, which is another popular spice manufacturer. The kit comes with 30 large glass jars, but these are empty vessels. You also receive pre-printed labels that cover almost every spice imaginable.

The price range for the AllSpice rack is from $$$ to $$$.

With over 325 reviews that are unanimously positive, the AllSpice rack is one of the best-rated spice racks on the market today. Customers love the design and numerous label and jar options, including shaker tops and ones for fine powders like cinnamon and nutmeg.

Similar to the AllSpice 30, the 60 jar rack is for those culinary enthusiasts who toss spices into everything they cook. This rack looks great on the wall or sitting on the counter. Its sturdy wood construction ensures that the rack won't tip over. Just like the 30 jar model, this features high-quality glass jars with countless pre-made labels and options.

Price for this larger model ranges from $$$ to $$$.

Customers noted the sturdy build and jar quality. There were no negative comments of note. As a practical matter, this model may be overkill for many home cooks, but in general, it is a great product that will last for years.

Another Kamenstein product features a similar variety of spices, with the same five-year refill policy, but with different shaped jars. These bulb-like jars add an attractive, unique look to your kitchen. With a two-tiered storage system, jars are easy to reach when needed. The rack is small, too, and features a convenient carrying handle. So, if you prefer keeping your spices out of sight, you can easily take them out for cooking.

Prices for this spice rack ranges from $$ to $$.

Like the other Kamenstein rack on this list, customers highly rate this as a contender for the best spice rack available. It is convenient and easy to use, but some noted the lack of quality in the plastic jar tops. Another commenter shed some light on the free refills, noting that shipping and handling charges apply and can add up quickly for a full refill of all spices.

Another popular revolving countertop spice rack is the Cole & Mason 20 jar. It is a stunning product that combines a pro-kitchen look with intuitive design. The glass bottles have chrome tops with etched-in spice and herb names. These tops twist for either shaking or pouring depending on your culinary needs. Prefilled spices include basil, bay leaves, caraway seeds, celery seeds, chili flakes, ground cinnamon, coriander seed, ground cumin, dried dill, fennel seed, Italian blend, marjoram, dried mint, whole mustard seed, dried oregano, paprika, dried parsley, rosemary, savory and thyme.

Price ranges from $$ to $$.

Most customer reviews of this best spice rack noted the stylish looks and quality build. Negative comments noted the chrome is not metal, but chrome-plated plastic. Buyer beware, then, as the manufacturer's description seems to indicate that the tops are metal.

One of the most exciting and unique kitchen products around, the Gneiss Spice rack is gorgeous and innovative. These cute glass jars with magnetic metal lids look like glass tile or a clear honeycomb when stacked together. The company's tagline is: "Have a fridge? Then you have a spice rack." Rather than fool with finding space for a rack in your cabinets, keep all of your spices in one spot on your fridge. As a bonus, these can hold up your children's soccer pictures, too.

While the jars are cool, and you can mix and match 1.75-ounce sizes with 4-ounce sizes, they do not come pre-filled.

Prices range from $$ to $$$ depending on the number and size of the jars.

Customers rave over the unique design, and there are few negative reports. It's one of the few spice rack products where customer service ranks as being superior. Some pointed out that the smaller jars are too small, not holding the contents of most store-bought spices.

Another, more traditional but still modern approach to the best spice rack solution is using small magnetic metal tins. The tins sold by Talented Kitchen have clear lids and a labeling system featuring 96 of the most common spice names and the ability to add custom labels. Fill the jars and stick them to your stove, refrigerator or backyard grill.

This spice rack is also good for other uses, such as organizing arts and craft supplies.

Prices range from $$ to $$.

There are a lot of customer comments on this product. Most of the user reviews for this product are positive. Many call this one of the best kitchen hacks ever, noting how you can line the inside doors of your cabinets with metal plates, then apply the jars. The few negative reviews noted that the jars could be difficult to clean.

Sometimes the best spice rack screams modern design and begs to sit on display. The Orii Rotunda fits 20 jars into a unique look that combines glass, metal, and black plastic. These jars are prefilled with all the spices a home chef needs, and best of all, the contents are easy to see even without looking at labels. This visibility comes from how the jar fit sideways into the rack.

Prices for this spice rack range from $$ to $$.

Again, this rack has several fans, especially those who enjoy modern design. It is an elegant spice rack, and customers also liked how the jars featured simple pouring or shaking options.

Spice racks don't get much more simple than the Sorbus Organizer. This four tier rack differs greatly from the popular modern-styled racks. Instead of sleek metal and glass, this rack features chicken wire for a rustic country look. It fits all your favorite spice brand bottles, holding between 20 and 24, depending on their width. Since it is slim, you can easily mount this rack to the inside of a cabinet or pantry door to save space and keep your ingredients handy.

The Sorbus Organizer is just a rack; you supply the bottles, jars, and spices.

Prices for this rack range from $$ to $$.

Although this is a no-frills spice storage solution, customers like its simplicity. It does its intended job perfectly — it keeps spice jars in line and organized. Some noted that taller jars might not fit. Others said the chicken wire construction could feel bouncy and less sturdy.

Best Spice Rack For Your Kitchen

The best-reviewed rack is the AllSpice collection of wood racks. These are sturdy, easy to use and look great in any kitchen. They may be pricey, but you won't be tossing out chipped jar lids or complaining about flaked plastic "chrome." Though, 60 jars is a bit overkill for most home cooks. We recommend the 30-jar AllSpice model as a permanent addition to your kitchen.

We Offer The Best Nonstick Cookware For Any Dish

The search for the best nonstick cookware is a challenge all home cooks face. Maybe you had one too many fried eggs stick to your stainless steel pan. Perhaps your roommate's pan had a big patch in it where too many metal spatulas had scraped. You might even be looking for your first nonstick pan to start your culinary hobby!

No matter what, nonstick cookware is indispensable. But, as with many kitchen supplies, price isn't a guarantee of quality. Beyond that, there are a number of different nonstick materials, some with potential for danger. Nonstick pans are the subject of a multitude of infomercials. There's always a new development; a new eco-friendly design; a new coating you just have to own. The reality is, the best nonstick cookware is a mere click away.

Comparison Table

Why Nonstick?

The primary reason for choosing nonstick cookware is in the name. Whatever you cook, you don't want it to stick to the pan. That makes for easier cooking and easier cleanup afterward. While not every dish cooks well in nonstick cookware, it is essential to any well-stocked kitchen. As with any cookware, it's important to know when to use your nonstick cookware and how to care for it properly.

The best nonstick cookware can be used easily with delicate dishes. They are ideal for eggs, pancakes, fish, or other dishes you want to keep in one piece. Nonstick pots and pans also require less oil to cook. Some dishes may not need any at all. That will allow you to cook dishes using less oil, cutting out fat from your diet. It will also make your cookware a breeze to clean - any burned food will easily slide off.

Nonstick Cookware Materials And Care

best nonstick cookware

Nonstick cookware comes in numerous materials, and the benefits of these vary. Some are safer and easier to care for than others. In past years, there has been a lot of scrutiny over the use of Teflon in nonstick pans. The tendency of its coating to turn toxic at high heat gained it negative media attention. Aluminum also has been linked to health problems and may be something to consider when choosing the best nonstick cookware for you.

Many of the best nonstick cookware brands treat their pans with a ceramic-based coating. This type of surface is scratch-resistant, unlike a layer of Teflon, and still resistant to sticking. It can also be visually striking, as the ceramic pans can come in colors other than black. Also available are anodized metals such as titanium, as well as granite.

Caring for nonstick pans is relatively easy, but takes some awareness. Unlike stainless steel pans, scratching a nonstick coating can result in flaking and loss of its nonstick capabilities. In addition to simply being annoying and causing your food to cling to the pan, it can also introduce health hazards. In fact, Teflon's previously mentioned threats increase when you scratch the coating. To care for a nonstick pan, make sure to use silicone or wooden utensils that won't damage the surface. Make sure to dry and store your nonstick cookware separate from others, as the bottom of another pan could scratch the surface just as easily. The best nonstick cookware deserves the best care.

How We Reviewed

Our review is a compilation of cookware featured repeatedly on best nonstick cookware lists from sources such as Bon Appetit, Epicurious, and Wirecutter. Inclusion in this list requires a combination of versatility, nonstick material, and price. While the list in order of lowest to highest price, they are not ranked from best to worst. The best nonstick cookware is less expensive, easy to use and care for, and most importantly safe for both cooks and diners. Wherever possible, the price included is for one 12-inch nonstick frying pan.

Price Range

The prices of the nonstick frying pans included in our list are all under $$$. They range from under $$ to around $$ with a variety of materials. All of the pans included here are available on Amazon. Those that are available via their brand websites are listed below. The least expensive pans come with more common nonstick materials, such as anodized titanium. Some of the most expensive pans consist of ceramic blends or other similar nonstick materials.

Our Best Nonstick Cookware

best nonstick cookware

These are the pans that bring the best performance for their value, based on versatility and nonstick material. All are excellent choices, but only one may be right for you. They are organized here by order of lowest listed price.


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T-fal 2100080897 Fry, Professional 12-Inch Nonstick Pan, 12.5, Black
  • The unique T-fal Thermo-Spot heat indicator shows when the pan is perfectly preheated for cooking
  • Prometal Pro nonstick interior is exceptionally durable and scratch resistant, safe for use with metal utensil
  • Stainless steel disc for even heat distribution and anti-warp protection
  • Dishwasher Safe; Oven safe to 400 degrees F
  • Safe for all cooking methods including induction

The T-Fal Thermo-Spot is a favorite as the best budget option, and it holds its own even so. It features a proprietary nonstick coating which is safe with any utensil, even metal. The titular Thermo-Spot indicates when the pan is evenly heated, and the pan is both dishwasher safe and oven safe to 400 degrees. Reviewers noted its even heating and use with appliances as positive notes for the pan. The nonstick coating is not ultimately compatible with metal utensils, according to reviewers on Amazon.com. Using a silicone or wooden utensil would extend the Thermo-Spot pan's life. Even with this, the T-Fal Thermo-Spot 12-inch received 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon.

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Cuisinart 622-30H Chef's Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Open Skillet with Helper Handle
  • Hard Anodized is harder than stainless steel and is dense, nonporous and highly wear-resistant for extra durability and professional performance
  • Quantanium nonstick interior is reinforced with titanium and provides lasting food release, healthily nonfat cooking option, and easy clean up
  • Cool Grip handles are solid stainless steel riveted stick handles that stay cool on the stove top and provide a safe a solid grip
  • Oven safe to 500 degrees F, with tapered drip free rim
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cuisinart makes essential cookware that is at home in both the sparsest and best-stocked kitchens. The Chef's Classic 12-inch nonstick skillet is no different. Made with a titanium nonstick interior, the Chef's Classic is a solid pan without any extra features. It does, however, include a helper handle opposite the main grip. Since the pan is oven rated up to 500 degrees, the grips are handy for transferring from stove to oven. The Chef's Classic 12 inch received 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

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Bialetti Granito Nonstick Fry Pan, 12-Inch, Gray
  • Durable, easy to clean granite sear and release 3-layer nonstick interior
  • Healthy - use less oil with PFOA free nonstick surface
  • Thick, even heat base for superior cooking results
  • Oven safe to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Lifetime guarantee

The Bialetti Granito features a granite type nonstick surface which means chemicals such as those found in Teflon are not present. The Granito includes silicone handles, which stay cool even on the stovetop, and is oven safe to 400 degrees. The Granito provides a product similar to ceramic pans at a much lower price. It earned 4.5 stars out of five on Amazon.com. Although some reviewers say the nonstick coating started to wear down quickly, others have had no issue with this pan. One hangup may be the pan's incompatibility with induction cooktops.

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Tramontina Professional Fry Pans (12-inch)
  • NSF-Certified commercial-grade 3004 heavy-gauge aluminum
  • High-performance reinforced PFOA-free nonstick, dishwasher-safe
  • Works with gas, electric and ceramic glass, oven-safe (400 F / 204 C)
  • Tramontina Item # 80114/536DS - UPC 16017041325
  • MADE IN USA with imported components, Lifetime Warranty

Tramontina's Professional aluminum pan earned the best nonstick pan from the exacting editors at New York Times' Wirecutter. The pan's maneuverability and heat-resistant handle sheath earned it extra points. Reviewers on Amazon.com agreed, giving the pan 4.5 stars out of five. Both professional and consumer reviews admired its long-lasting nature. Make sure to hand wash and use the appropriate utensils. Some reviewers on Amazon warned against using the Tramontina Professional on high heat, as it could damage the pan.

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Anolon Advanced Bronze Hard-Anodized Nonstick 12-Inch Covered Deep Skillet
  • 12-Inch Covered Deep Skillet
  • Oven safe to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, the heavy-duty construction promotes even, efficient heating; the bronze nonstick exterior offers timeless style
  • Premium-quality nonstick is long lasting and metal utensil safe with superior food release and effortless cleanup
  • The nonstick skillet's Anolon SureGrip handle is dual riveted for extra strength, color-coordinated, and designed for a comfortable grasp
  • Break-resistant glass lid allows for monitoring of food while it cooks, locking in heat and moisture

The Anolon Advanced Bronze is the first pan on this list with an eye towards style as well as function. With a bronze outer finish, as suggested by the name, this Anolon pan offers an attractive option. The pan advertises metal utensils are useable on the coating, although there are no consumer reviews available. One Amazon reviewer offered that after 18 months of daily use, the pan had lost most of its nonstick qualities. For cooks who do not intend to use their pan every day, it is still a good option and received 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

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GreenPan CC000028-001 Paris 10 Inch Ceramic Non-Stick Fry Pan
  • GreenPan is the pioneer of healthy ceramic non-stick: safe cookware that doesn't contain any toxic chemicals or persistent pollutants and is easy to use.
  • Thermolon ceramic non-stick is manufactured without PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium. The coating won't blister, peel or release any harmful fumes, even if you accidently overheat your pan.
  • Coated with our most advanced grade of Thermolon, this ceramic non-stick is reinforced with minerals and is metal utensil safe.
  • The durable hard anodized exterior is designed for maximum strength and scratch resistance and has excellent heat conduction for even cooking results.
  • The riveted stainless steel handles are contoured for a relaxed and comfortable grip.

This is the first pan on our list to offer a nonstick ceramic coating. For GreenPan, this is a key selling point. The GreenPan Paris leaves out toxic chemicals with its Thermolon ceramic, a completely non-toxic alternative to Teflon. The pan also can resist heat up to above 600 degrees. Amazon customers wavered on the GreenPan Paris, giving it 3.5 stars out of 5. Many pointed to the nonstick coating's inability to actually prevent sticking the way other coatings can. For this pan, in particular, the tradeoff for safety may be a small degree of nonstick utility.

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Cuisinart GG22-30 GreenGourmet Hard-Anodized Nonstick 12-Inch Open Skillet
  • 12-inch hard-anodized aluminum skillet with scratch-resistant nonstick ceramic-based surface
  • Water-based ceramica nonstick surface won't peel off, free of ptfe and pfoa
  • Superior heat conductivity resulting in less energy use; oven- and broiler-safe
  • 70 percent recycled, riveted, stay-cool stainless-steel handle
  • Limited lifetime warranty; hand wash only; oven safe up to 400 degrees

Kitchen staple Cuisinart offers an option for their more environmentally minded consumers with their GreenGourmet line. This pan, made with a ceramic coating and recycled steel in the handle, is non-toxic and chemical-free for a higher price. Much like the GreenPan Paris, the GreenGourmet trades a potentially toxic coating at the expense of its nonstick. Many reviewers claimed that it lost its nonstick abilities after about six months of use. Overall reviews gave this pan 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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All-Clad HA1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Frying Pan with Lid, 12 Inch Pan Cookware, Medium Grey
  • 12-inch fry pan with wide flat base and versatile low-profile shape; Dimension: 30 cm; Oven compatibility:Yes; Heat source:INDUCTION - GAS - ELECTRIC - CERAMIC - HALOGEN
  • Hard Anodized aluminum construction for fast, even heating and easy cleanup; stainless-steel bonded Anti-Warp base; optimized for induction
  • PFOA-free nonstick scratch resistant coating for healthier cooking with less fat; secure-fitting lids trap in heat and moisture and allow for checking on food at a glance
  • Stainless-steel handles contoured for a comfortable hold and permanently secured with stainless-steel rivets ; Dimension : 30 Centimeter
  • Oven safe to 500 degrees F (without lids); dishwasher-safe, handwash recommended; limited lifetime warranty

All-Clad offers high-end cookware overall, and one of the best-engineered pans on this list. Their nonstick 12-inch pan is oven rated up to 500 degrees and features a helper handle to manage the pan more easily. Its nonstick coating is chemical free, and the pan consists of anodized aluminum. While this pan is dishwasher safe, hand washing is recommended. Reviewers on Amazon criticized the pan mostly for its U-shaped grip, which was uncomfortable to use. Most said the pan was long-lasting with proper care and rated the All-Clad nonstick 4 out of 5 stars.

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ZWILLING Madura Plus Forged 11" Nonstick Fry Pan
  • Manufactured in Italy
  • Forged aluminum construction provides excellent heat retention and distribution
  • PFOA-free, multilayer Duraslide granite nonstick coating is 40 times more durable than traditional PTFE coatings
  • Innovative plasma primer offers ultimate scratch and abrasion resistance
  • Ergonomic, stay-cool handle is welded for durability - no rivets ensure easy cleaning

Zwilling's Madura Plus pan earned the honor of being named the best non-stick pan the editors of Bon Appetit magazine ever used. Its granite nonstick coating is chemical free, meaning you can avoid the health risks that come with Teflon coating. The pan also comes with a metal handle. However, it is only oven safe to 300 degrees. The majority of users found that it heated evenly and resisted scratches, and rated the pan 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

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Scanpan Classic 12.5 Inch Fry Pan
  • 100% recycled cast aluminum
  • Will not warp, peel, blister or crack
  • PFOA free nonstick
  • Oven safe
  • Dishwasher safe

The Scanpan is a Danish frying pan which offers a superior nonstick pan at the highest price. The Scanpan Classic has a ceramic nonstick coating that is chemical free and, more importantly, actually nonstick. Safe up to 500 degrees, the Scanpan is also scratch resistant and incredibly durable according to Amazon reviewers. For the price, this pan brings decades of engineering and a reliable product. Amazon.com customers rate it approximately 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is available both on Amazon and on the Scanpan website.

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The Final Word

In any kitchen, the best option is what the chef wants. Whatever works best for your kitchen is best for you. Some options are simply going to work for more chefs, and I have a few. For one, it's hard to go against the experts at Bon Appetit magazine in their praise of the Zwilling Madura Plus. While it cannot go above 300 degrees in the oven, it is still a safe and reliable nonstick pan for a slightly higher price.

On a budget, the Tramontina Professional offers superior performance at a bargain. Appropriate care -- hand-washing, using silicone or wooden utensils -- made this pan last as long, or longer, than several more expensive options on this list. Finally, an investment pays off with the Scanpan Classic. Though it pushes $$$ with its price tag, it is clearly a superior product and will serve your kitchen for many years if you care for it.

Whatever you decide is the best nonstick cookware for you, remember this. Always wash by hand, don't let other pans or metal touch the nonstick surface -- even if you're supposed to be able to -- and your pan will stay clean and useful for a long time.

 

Finding The Best Food Dehydrator You Can Buy In The Market Today

best food dehydrator

Choosing the best food dehydrator used to be much easier, as only a few select companies made them. Making your own DIY dehydrator isn’t overly complicated. We have built several when consumer models weren't readily available. After all, the pioneers managed to make jerky and dehydrate meat and fish using just the sun or a campfire, using a simple wooden rack.

Using the sun may eventually get the job done, but for precise, bug-free, and easy dehydrating, you will probably want a self-contained unit. There are several available from modest basic units to complicated and expensive professional models. Now the only question remains is which one is best for your needs.

Best Food Dehydrator
Comparison Table

Why Should You Have Best Food  Dehydrator?

Dehydrators gained popularity because consumers appreciate a way to preserve meats, vegetables, snacks, and even entire prepared meals such as chili and stews. With no loss of vitamins or minerals, these foods, adequately packaged, can be stored for years without refrigeration, and almost indefinitely in a freezer.

People have found that with a dehydrator, you can pack preserved food and meals away as part of your disaster preparedness program. There also people who swear by them for reducing the bulk of meat, fruits, and snack supplies when camping or hiking. Some people in more rural areas use them to store foods and save them for a time when they may be unavailable or out of season.

What Is A Dehydrator?

food in the tray

A dehydrator is a device that uses heated, recirculating air to remove the moisture from food, flowers, herbs, and other matter. The moisture content in some kinds of food can account for as much as 90 percent of the food’s total weight. Removing the moisture from food significantly extends its shelf life. While you should not remove all the moisture from foods, a dehydrator will remove just enough to deny bacteria, mold, and fungi the moisture they need to breed and grow.

Even without a timer to guide you, most recipes will tell you what to look for to assure that you will remove the correct amount of moisture.

Types Of Dehydrators

There are generally two main types of dehydrators available to consumers: stacked and shelf dehydrators. While they will both do essentially the same job, some people prefer one type over the other for various reasons.

Stacked Dehydrators

dehydrators

Stack-type dehydrators contain individual stackable round racks. These types of dehydrators circulate the air through the center, and it returns to the blower via the outside of each rack. As more racks are stacked, they form an air-tight seal that keeps the air circulation flowing. That causes the air to flow across each individual rack to dehydrate whatever you have put on it. Some users have noted that they prefer the stacked dehydrator because they have a smaller footprint and can use less energy as you dehydrate less food.

Fewer racks mean shorter processing time and usesing less energy. Others have noted that sometimes food closer to the blower would dehydrate a bit faster. Normally, this issue can be easily remedied with by re-arranging the racks during the process.

Box And Tray Dehydrators

fruit in the racks

Looking more like a microwave oven or toaster oven, Box-type dehydrators have a box shell and internal trays. Racks are placed in the box as needed, and the fan blows from the back while circulating past each tray.

Some of the noted advantages to box and tray units are that they have better insulation that stacked racks. For the most part, all the trays receive an equal amount of heated air, so no re-arraigning is necessary. 

The most often cited disadvantage concerns the fact that they are rather bulky, even if you dehydrate a rather small amount of food.

How To Use A Dehydrator

Using a food dehydrator is quite simple. Just arrange the items you wish to dehydrate on the racks. You must be sure that the pieces do not touch each other, so they dry evenly. Most dehydrators operate at roughly between 90 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the most part, fruits and vegetables will take from 2 to 19 hours depending on the moisture content and toughness of the skin. Meat will take longer, depending on how thick you cut it before treating. Most jerky, for example, should be cut in uniform 1/4-inch slices for best results.

Different foods will require different preparation and different times (and temperatures) in the dehydrator. Most units will tell you how long and at what temperature to process each type of food.

Storage

Do not think that dehydrating your food makes it immune to spoilage. Once your product has been processed and has cooled, you will still need to store it in an air-tight container. This prevents it from absorbing moisture from the air, making it susceptible to spoilage once again. It is best to place your dehydrated products in a dark and dry place.

Choose The Best Food Dehydrator From These Top 7 Models

Once you've decided to buy a dehydrator, the number of models on the market may seem confusing. With so many to choose from, it's hard to identify which features are necessary and which will prove to be superficial. With that in mind, here, in no particular order, below are our picks for the best food dehydrators of 2018.

How We Compiled This List

For the most part, we've chose the best dehydrators based on features available for each unit, price, reputation, and dependability. Perhaps most importantly, we considered reviews and ratings by customers. We gleaned this data from a wide variety of sources. Some units we considered were too new for a reliable customer rating, but that doesn't disqualify a quality unit.

No independent list is likely to match the results of any of these resources unit by unit. They will, however, reflect the results of analyzing all the data and ratings from all of these various outlets.

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Excalibur 3926TB 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator with Temperature Settings and 26-hour Timer Automatic Shut Off for Faster and Efficient Drying Includes Guide to Dehydration Made in USA, 9-Tray, Black
  • 9-Tray electric food dehydrator with 15 square feet of drying space
  • Adjustable Thermostat 105F to 165F. Temperature range is low enough to preserve active enzymes in fruits and vegetables. Temperature range is also high enough to meet safety standards for dehydrating meat for jerky
  • Built in on/off switch and adjustable thermostat with 26 hour timer
  • Great for large families, gardeners, and sportsmen. Dehydrate fruits, vegetables, nuts, meat for jerky, fruit puree for fruit roll-ups, raise bread or make homemade yogurt
  • Includes a flexible poly-screen tray insert to prevent foods from sticking and trays do not need to be moved or rotated during operation

A box and tray dehydrator, the 3926TB has 15 square feet of drying space and boasts of 9 trays in the box, while expandable to 15 trays at 13-1/2 inches in diameter. It has a 2100 RPM, 7-inch fan for consistent air flow, as well as a 135-degree to 165-degree adjustable thermostat. Because some foods may require longer drying times, the Excalabur 3926TB comes equipped with a 26-hour thermostat timer.

One feature frequently mentioned by consumers was the flexible non-stick inserts you can set between the trays to keep items from sticking. Customers also praised the Excalibur 3926TB for its easy to operate time and temperature selection switches, and its easily cleaned racks. Also noted was the full 10-year warranty.

With an overall weight of 22 pounds and dimensions of 12.5 inches by 17 inches by 19 inches, this is not a portable unit. It does have an Amazon rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars and online outlet prices ranging from $$$ to $$$.

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NESCO FD-75A, Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator, Gray
  • Adjustable thermostat allows you to dry different foods at proper temperatures (95º-160º F)
  • Powerful Top Mounted Fan. 600 watts of drying power. 120 Volt
  • Comes with 5 trays, but is expandable to 12 trays. (Trays are 13 1/2" in diameter)
  • Opaque Vita-Save exterior helps block harmful light which destroys nutritional content of food being dehydrated
  • Patented Converga-Flow drying system forces air down the exterior pressurized chamber (not through the trays). The hot air is forced horizontally across each individual tray, converging on the core for fast, even and nutritious drying. No flavor mixing and no need to rotate trays

A little smaller than the Excalabur 9623TB, the Snackmaster Pro is perfect for any size batches of your favorite dried goodies. Packed with five trays, but capable of handling 12, the Snackmaster Pro thermostat ranges from 95 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. It has the classic, efficient, top-mounted Nesco heater fan for even air distribution and runs at a full 600-watts of power.

Included in the box are two solid liners for making fruit leather or for drying sauces or other liquids. There are two mesh sheets for dehydrating other foods, and three packages of their delicious jerky spice and cure to get you started immediately.

While a customer favorite, it must be noted that some reviews thought that having no timer was a drawback. If you are like us, you are checking it so often as the finish time approaches that you will be on time to turn it off.

Measuring 13.75 inches by 22.13 inches by 13.8 inches and weighing in at 7.75 pounds, the Snackmaster Pro rated 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. The prices online were generally between $$ and $$.

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Tribest Sedona Express SDE-S6780-B Digital Food Dehydrator, Black with Stainless Steel Trays
  • All-Digital Controls & Displays
  • Glass Hinged Door for Easy Monitoring and Insertion/Extraction of Trays
  • Non-flammable and BPA-Free Plastic Body. Quiet operation
  • Max Temperature of 167 DegreeF/75 DegreeC
  • 10 Year Warranty

If you want to take your dehydrating to the next level, the Tribest Sedona Express Digital is the unit for you. Weighing in at a full 20.4 pounds and measuring 17.5 inches by 12 inches by 14 inches, it has 11 trays made of stainless steel. It also has a glass door, an interior light, and can adjust from high to low temperature. This feature will help prevent overcooking.

The temperature ranges from 77 to 167 degrees Fahrenheit, and it has multiple cooking modes. The timer can be adjusted up to 120 hours, but it is unlikely you will ever need that much time for anything. The fan, located in the back of the case, includes a dust filter. While not expandable as such, there is already plenty of room for your product without expansion.

While it received high marks for its versatility and quality, this comes in as one of the priciest home units on the market. However, you can save a bit of cash by opting for the plastic trays instead of the stainless-steel ones. While too new for an accurate Amazon rating, it has a general price range online of between $$$ and $$$. This unit does come with a full 10-year warranty, so you should get your money’s worth over time.

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NESCO FD-60, Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrator, White, 500 watts
  • 500-watt 4-tray food dehydrator dries in hours instead of days and opaque vita-save exterior helps block harmful light which destroys nutritional content of food being dehydrated
  • Top-mounted fan; adjustable thermostat from 95 to 155 degrees F
  • Converga-Flow drying system; flavors don't mix; no need to rotate trays
  • Includes fruit roll sheet and 2 original-flavor jerky spice and cure packets
  • Measures approximately 13-1/2 by 13-1/2 by 9-4/5 inches

The Nesco FD-60 is easily among the most widely available and bestselling food dehydrators ever. Even though it comes with only 4 trays, the Nesco Snackmaster can accommodate up to 12 individual racks because of its 500-watt, top mounted heater fan. This configuration also combats the uneven heating of some stack-type units. This heat distribution remains consistent across the entire temperature range of 95 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit. It dehydrates everything from jerky to fruits and vegetables with a constant and even heat.

This unit also includes plastic liner sheets that fit in the trays for making fruit roll-ups and other more liquid-based treats. It has an adjustable thermostat, an extensive recipe book, and two packets of jerky spice and cure packets.

The American-made Nesco Snackmaster measures approximately 13-1/2 inches by 13-1/2 inches by 9-4/5 inches and has a 1-year limited warranty. Online prices ranged from $$ and $$ with a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon.

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Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator
  • Four-tray system for dehydrating foods at a fraction of the cost of commercially dehydrated foods with no additives or preservatives
  • See-through cover to monitor drying progress on top tray; Bottom-mounted fan and heating element provide consistent air flow for optimum drying
  • Drying trays and cover are fully immiscible and dishwasher safe; Fruit roll sheets, nonstick mesh screens, jerky gun and jerky spice kits available
  • Easy to store; Drying trays nest for compact storage; Cord stores in base
  • Four drying trays included; Expands up to eight trays for added capacity

Another favorite stack-type food dehydrator, the 600-watt Presto 06300 comes with four trays and is expandable to up to eight. Weighing in at only 7.2 pounds, the Presto has trays that nest inside each other, giving it a compact size for storage or travel. The power cord stores in the base of the unit, making storage even more convenient.

Some customers sited the transparent lid as an excellent feature for monitoring their product without having to open it. Also noted were the fully immersible and dishwasher safe trays and cover. One thing we didn’t like was that the temperature was not adjustable and remained a constant 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This should not prove a deal breaker, as the time can be adjusted to compensate for this. Even so, some customers saw this as a convenience drawback. The Presto 06300 measures 14.5 inches by 15 inches by 6.25 inches and has 600-watts of power.

It comes in slightly behind the Nesco in customer rating on Amazon at 4.4 out of 5 stars and can be found online at prices consistently ranging from $$ to $$.

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NutriChef Electric Food Dehydrator Machine - Professional Multi-Tier Food Preserver, Meat or Beef Jerky Maker, Fruit & Vegetable Dryer with 5 Stackable Trays, High-Heat Circulation - PKFD12
  • PROFESSIONAL DEHYDRATOR: A multi-tier electric pro food dehydrator that can preserve varieties of food. Produces nutritious food with very simple preparation. No food will spoil and go to waste with this food preserver
  • EASY ACCESS AND OPERATION: Built with easy to use one operational button. Choose to dehydrate with just a click. It has a temperature control system with a maximum of 180°F
  • STACKABLE TRAYS: Comes with 5 removable stackable food trays or dryer trays. These trays can also be used to dry food without the use of the dehydrator. Trays are removable, and easy to clean including the dehydrating machine
  • PRESERVE FOOD: This dehydrator uses temperature control for food preservation. It can dehydrate and preserve meat like the infamous beef jerky. Also a maker of organic healthy snacks by dehydrating fruits, vegetable and make pHotato or kale chips etc
  • HEAT CIRCULATION: Scientifically tested to increase food shelf life with high heat circulation t0hat travels through each tray. Effectively dries food by removing moisture content, shrinking the food but still retain 97% of vitamins and mineral

Since most people don’t dehydrate things very often (at first), you may be looking for a quality unit at a modest price. The NutriChef, while not as popular as the Presto 06300, is a nice basic starter unit that will get the job done nicely. This model only has one button, like the Nesco FD-60, but comes with five trays that are easy to clean. Also, it makes everything from snacks to dried flowers quickly and efficiently.

It comes in your choice of black or white and has a very respectable Amazon rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. It also has an online price range of $$ to $$.

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Electric Countertop Food Dehydrator Machine - Professional Multi-Tier Food Preserver, Beef Jerky Maker, Fruit Vegetable Fish Poultry Dryer w/ 5 Stackable Trays, 180° F Max Temp - NutriChef
  • PRESERVES FOOD: NutriChef's Food Dehydrator offers healthier alternative than canning or freezing. Effectively dries food thru removal of moisture content while still retaining 97% of vitamins and minerals. No food will spoil with this food preserver
  • ONE-PRESS OPERATION: The electric food preserving machine is built with an easy to use one operational button. Choose to dehydrate with just a click. It has a maximum temperature of 180° F. Allows you to prepare healthy snacks for all ages
  • 5 STACKABLE TRAYS: The trays are removable making it very easy to clean including the dehydrating machine. Comes w/ 5 removable and stackable food trays or dryer trays. These trays can also be used to dry food without the use of the dehydrator
  • TEMPERATURE CONTROL: Uses temperature control for food preservation. It can dehydrate and preserve meat like the infamous beef jerky. Also a maker of organic healthy snacks by dehydrating fruits, vegetable and make potato or kale chips etc
  • HIGH HEAT CIRCULATION: The multi-tier dehydrator is scientifically tested to increase food shelf life w/ high heat circulation that travels through each tray. Also makes a great food storage as drying causes food to shrink

We know this seems like an odd category, but customers were very pleased with the shelf-friendly shape of this NutriChef. Beautiful and practical, this model offers the space advantage of a box dehydrator while maintaining the benefits of a stackable unit. The airflow is exceptional, and it provides very even drying from edge to edge.

Customer comments also positively mentioned the clear lid that allows for monitoring throughout the process and the mesh sheet for smaller herbs. Also mentioned was the one-touch operation and the medium range price. Because of the high rating it received from customers on several sites, we had to include it here.

Measuring 11 inches by 12 inches by 11 inches and weighing just 3.1 pounds, it is relatively portable. It has an excellent Amazon rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, and prices online consistently range from $$ to $$.

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Having Fun With Your New Dehydrator

Now that you have some idea of which dehydrator to choose, you can go ahead and try to prepare a few different foods. You can use inexpensive foods to get a feel for your new unit as the possibilities are many and varied. Have fun and experiment. Put a few apple slices of various thicknesses or applesauce in the fruit roll-up tray just to see how it goes. If they are not dehydrated enough, there's no harm done, as you can eat them completely raw. If you make jerky, it should feel dry and “crack” when bent but stay together without breaking. Fruits should feel leathery and not sticky or moist. Veggies should be hard and crunchy.

Don’t worry that much about messing up your first batch. Most recipe books, and your manual, will guide you concerning the time and temperature that is best. Also, remember, you will learn skill and technique as you gain experience with your new appliance. However, if you test your food and discover it is not dry enough, just leave it in a little longer. Normally, you will be too eager to gobble up your freshly made snacks to leave them in for too long. Good luck, have fun, and happy dehydrating.