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How to Pick the Best Broiler Pan

When it comes to using your oven, we all know it does a lot more than just baking.  I love to broil things in the oven, and for that I need the best broiler pan.

Broiling is completely different than baking and roasting, so for the best broiled food you really should the best broiler pan.

We’re going to take a look at broiler pans, and some helpful tips for using them.

Best Broiler Pan

Norpro Stainless Steel Broil/Roast Pan Set
Wilton Non-stick Broiler Pan Set
Range Kleen Porcelain Broil and Bake Pan
Whirlpool Porcelain Broiler Pan and Grid
Handi-Foil Disposable Aluminum Foil Broiler Baking Cooking Pan
Norpro 274 Stainless Steel Broil/Roast Pan Set, 17 inch, Silver
Wilton Non-stick Broiler Pan Set, 11 x 7-Inch
Range Kleen BP106X 2 PC Porcelain Broil and Bake Pan 12.75 Inch by 8.5 Inch,Black
Whirlpool 4396923 Porcelain Broiler Pan and Grid, Black
Handi-Foil Disposable Aluminum Foil Broiler Baking Cooking Pan - HFA REF # 333 (50)
Stainless Steel
Steel and Non-Stick Steel
Porcelain
Porcelain
Aluminum Disposable
16.5" x 12"
11" x 7"
12.75" x 8.5"
20" x 15"
11.5" x 8.5"
$33.24
Price not available
$20.49
$39.65
$35.50
Norpro Stainless Steel Broil/Roast Pan Set
Norpro 274 Stainless Steel Broil/Roast Pan Set, 17 inch, Silver
Stainless Steel
16.5" x 12"
$33.24
Wilton Non-stick Broiler Pan Set
Wilton Non-stick Broiler Pan Set, 11 x 7-Inch
Steel and Non-Stick Steel
11" x 7"
Price not available
Range Kleen Porcelain Broil and Bake Pan
Range Kleen BP106X 2 PC Porcelain Broil and Bake Pan 12.75 Inch by 8.5 Inch,Black
Porcelain
12.75" x 8.5"
$20.49
Whirlpool Porcelain Broiler Pan and Grid
Whirlpool 4396923 Porcelain Broiler Pan and Grid, Black
Porcelain
20" x 15"
$39.65
Handi-Foil Disposable Aluminum Foil Broiler Baking Cooking Pan
Handi-Foil Disposable Aluminum Foil Broiler Baking Cooking Pan - HFA REF # 333 (50)
Aluminum Disposable
11.5" x 8.5"
$35.50

As you can see, many of these broiler pans look very similar.  A broiler pan has a slotted plate that goes over a larger pan.  This is to catch any juices from the food you are broiling, so the food stays crisp.

I often broil different types of meats, but you can broil almost anything.  Broiling is simply cooking food at a very high temperature for a short amount of time, and often very close to the heating element.  That is why allowing fat to run off with the designs of these pans is so important.

When it comes to picking the best broiler pan there are a few things to keep in mind.

First of all is the size of the pan.  If you have an idea of what you would like to cook, make sure it fits in the pan!

Next is the material of the pan.  Just like grill grates come in different materials, so do pans.  Don’t miss this guide to grill grate material to learn the basics.

Finally, is ease of cleaning.

Now, let’s take a look at some broiler pans.

Norpro Stainless Steel Broil/Roast Pan Set

Sale
Norpro 274 Stainless Steel Broil/Roast Pan Set, 17 inch, Silver
  • Measures: 16.5" x 12" x 2" / 42cm x 30.5cm x 5cm
  • This two-piece stainless steel broiler pan with perforated top allows for grease to drain off, while you cook, for healthier results.
  • Made of stainless steel for strength and durability. Easy to clean.

When it comes to pans, I love Norpro stainless steel baking sheets.  Loving their stainless steel broiler pan was not a stretch either.

Stainless steel is very, very easy to clean, and you do not need to worry about too much about cleaning it.  While yes, it does scratch, the scratches don’t do anything bad to your pan, unlike other cooking surfaces.

If you have not used a lot of stainless steel cookware before, you will notice over time it just looks sort of dirty and loses its luster.

When that time comes, simply use some Barkeeper's Friend to get it nice and shiny looking.

This stuff is the secret to cleaning stainless steel, and many other surfaces.

I really don’t have anything bad to say about this amazing stainless steel broiler pan!

Get More Information on Norpro Stainless Steel Broiling Pan!

Wilton Non-stick Broiler Pan Set

Wilton Non-stick Broiler Pan Set, 11 x 7-Inch
  • Two part pan drains fat and grease from meat and fish
  • Made of steel; non-stick for easy release and quick cleanup
  • 11 x 7 in. (27.9 x 17.8 cm)

This Wilton pan is a great broiler pan in general, with a low price point.  It has a non-stick surface for easy cleaning.

The only downside is the size of this pan, it is smaller compared to some of the other broiling pans on this list.

That’s why it is important to think about what you want to broil before you purchase your pan.

Get More Information on Wilton Non-stick broiler pan set!

Range Kleen Porcelain Broil and Bake Pan

Sale
Range Kleen BP106X 2 PC Porcelain Broil and Bake Pan 12.75 Inch by 8.5 Inch,Black
  • COOKING DONE RIGHT: Make the perfect meals with the help of the Range Kleen BP106X 2 Piece Heavy Duty Porcelain Broil and Bake Pan. Whether it is broiling meats to perfection or baking dishes, cook with ease with this 2-piece utensil.
  • MADE FROM HIGH QUALITY MATERIALS: Heavy-duty porcelain on steel grill and base, this USA made set is safe for use for up to 1025 degrees F and has OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) quality.
  • GOOD FEATURES FOR BROILING AND BAKING: The grate of the grill allows fat drippings to drain away from meats. The Range Kleen BP106X is suitable for use on an outdoor grill and perfect for fish, meats and veggies.

This porcelain broiler pan is a great model, and is a good size.

The only thing to beware of is that it is made out of porcelain, and porcelain must be cleaned gently.

However, porcelain is a great conductor of heat, so it will help your food cook very nicely and get nice and brown under the broiler.

No products found.

Whirlpool Porcelain Broiler Pan and Grid

Whirlpool 4396923 Porcelain Broiler Pan and Grid, Black
  • This product is a Factory Certified Accessory. These three words represent quality parts and accessories designed specifically for your appliance. Time tested engineering that meets our strict quality specifications
  • Package contains (1) Premium Broiler Pan and Roasting Rack
  • No tools required for installation

While this Whirlpool pan is also made out of porcelain, it is the biggest in size.  It is actually the replacement part for many Whirlpool ovens.

If you want to make a large amount of food (think burgers for a whole family and guests) at one time, this may be the broiler pan for you.

Get More Information on Whirlpool Porcelain Broiler Pan!

Handi-Foil Disposable Aluminum Foil Broiler Baking Cooking Pan

Handi-Foil Disposable Aluminum Foil Broiler Baking Cooking Pan - HFA REF # 333 (50)
  • Top Out Dimensions: 13" x 9-5/8"
  • Top In Dimensions: 11-1/2" x 8-1/2"
  • Bottom Dimensions: 11-1/8" x 8-1/2"

We’ve talked alot about cleaning broiler pans.  If you don’t want to bother with the cleaning aspect, these Handi-Foil broiler pans are for you.  Now, while they are disposable, they also are only one piece, so you will not get as good fat drainage from this as you would with some of the two piece sets.

As someone who uses these disposable pans probably more than they should, I have not found this to be a big deal.  Most grease is still caught by the bottom grooves in the pan, and I always remove the food as soon as I take the pan out of the oven.

Get More Information on Whirlpool Porcelain Broiler Pan!

Picking the Best Broiler Pan

Let’s take a look at our options one more time:

Sale
Norpro 274 Stainless Steel Broil/Roast Pan Set, 17 inch, Silver
Measures: 16.5" x 12" x 2" / 42cm x 30.5cm x 5cm; Made of stainless steel for strength and durability. Easy to clean.
$33.24
Wilton Non-stick Broiler Pan Set, 11 x 7-Inch
Two part pan drains fat and grease from meat and fish; Made of steel; non-stick for easy release and quick cleanup
Sale
Range Kleen BP106X 2 PC Porcelain Broil and Bake Pan 12.75 Inch by 8.5 Inch,Black
COOK AND CLEAN WITH EASE: The materials are easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
$20.49
Whirlpool 4396923 Porcelain Broiler Pan and Grid, Black
Package contains (1) Premium Broiler Pan and Roasting Rack; No tools required for installation
$39.65
Handi-Foil Disposable Aluminum Foil Broiler Baking Cooking Pan - HFA REF # 333 (50)
Top Out Dimensions: 13" x 9-5/8"; Top In Dimensions: 11-1/2" x 8-1/2"; Bottom Dimensions: 11-1/8" x 8-1/2"
$35.50

If you really don’t want to deal with cleaning a broiler pan, the Handi-Foil Disposable broiler pan is the obvious choice.

If you don’t mind cleaning the broiler pan, and are looking for a balance in size and ease of use and cleaning, then the Norpro stainless steel broiler pan is the best choice.

Finally, if you are just looking for the best and biggest broiler pan you can get your hands on, the Whirlpool broiler pan is the one for you.

At the end of the day, all of these broiler pans will serve you well.  You just need to decide on the size and material that works best for you.

The Difference Between Bake and Broil

You may be wondering what the difference between bake and broil is, and you aren’t alone.  After all, you’re using the same oven and the same heat source!

The difference between baking and broiling is the intensity of the heat.  When your oven is set to bake, the thermostat ensures that the oven is gently kept at temperature.  This is why it takes so long for an oven to heat up.

When it comes to broil, your oven basically just blasts the heat source on low, medium, or high continuously.  Since this is a different approach, the food cooks much differently.

As opposed to the gentle heat of baking which can take a while, broiling is quicker for thinner foods like steaks.  It also browns the surface of the food much more than traditional baking.

Because it is a direct heat source, broilers aren’t good at cooking thick foods all the way through.

For a thick steak, first cook on a bake setting, and then finish on broil for the dark brown crust we all know and love.

How to Use a Broiler Pan

When it comes to how to use a broiler pan, the first thing you need to undersand is how a broiler works, and some tips for getting the most out of your broiler.

First things first is the type of oven that you have.  Currently have an electric oven with an electric broiler, but used to have a gas broiler.  I have not found much difference between the two.

When it comes to your broiler, there are often low, medium, and high settings.  You will find that you can get a little more granular and adjust the heat by placing your broiler pan on a specific rack.

For browning really greasy things, I have found that broiling on medium or high on the middle rack often results in much less grease splattering all over my oven than broiling on a higher rack.

If you want to just brown something, you may want to put it on higher rack on a higher setting, for a shorter amount of time.

If you are trying to cook something thoroughly, like a piece of meat, you will have better luck in the middle rack or on a higher rack setting with a lower temperature.

You will also want to flip your meat half way through cooking so that both sides are evenly browned.  When you use the best broiler pan, all of the grease will sink to the bottom of the pan, and your food won’t sit in it.

The browning of your food, and removing the grease is one of the most attractive reasons to have a broiler pan.

Ideas for Your New Broiler Pan

Ready to make something in the broiler?  I hope my tips have helped you.

Here are a couple of great recipes to get you started, and help you get the feel for using it.

These are some great recipes to get you started.  Don’t miss these broiling basics either!

How to Clean a Broiler Pan

Depending on how you are using it, your broiler pan can get quite greasy, and have food residue caked on to it.

First things first, there are the things I love for cleaning pans in general, which also apply to cleaning broiler pans:

Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap (4x19oz) + Non-Scratch Sponge (2ct), Original Scent...
50% Less Scrubbing; #1 Dish Liquid (Based on Sales); Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap, Original Scent
$14.56
Bar Keepers Friend All-Purpose Cleaner & Polish 12 oz (Pack of 3)
Where to use cleanser,Surfaces,Kitchen,Bathroom, and Outdoors.
$18.61

First things first, if you have the time, allow your broiler pan to soak in hot water with Blue Dawn Dish Soap.  It has to be the blue original kind!  This is one of the best degreasers out there.

Then, wash it like you would anything else.  Is there still food stuck on it?

The next step is using Barkeepers Friend.  I use Barkeepers Friend for cleaning all sorts of pots and pans.  The power is the traditional type, but can be a little messy when you sprinkle it.  You also should rub it in a little bit after you sprinkle it for maximum effect.

There is also the spray version of Barkeepers Friend as you can see above.  You can just spray it on and let it sit, so it is a bit easier to use.  Totally up to you.

You may have to perform the Barkeepers Friend step a few times to remove everything.  Just use a paper towel to scrub off the reside, especially if you have chosen a porcelain broiler pan, so you do not damage the porcelain surface.

Best Steam Mop for Tiles

When it comes to cleaning your tiles, a steam mop is one of the best ways to do it.  It is quick, easy, and does not leave a mess behind.  The little bit of water it does leave behind dries up in no time at all.  I have been using a steam mop for ages, and won’t turn back!

Best Steam Mop for Tiles

Here are some of our favorite stem mops for tile floors.

Shark Steam Pocket Mop Hard Floor Cleaner with Swivel Steering XL Water Tank (S3501), 18 Feet Power...
Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System Pocket (S5003D) Steam Mop, Burgundy/Gray
BISSELL Power Fresh Steam Mop, Floor Steamer, Tile Cleaner, and Hard Wood Floor Cleaner, 1940, Blue...
Bissell Spinwave, 2307 Cordless Hard Mop, Wood Floor Cleaner and Buffer
Steam Mop Cleaner 10-in-1 with Convenient Detachable Handheld Unit, Laminate/Hardwood/Tiles/Carpet...
Shark Steam Pocket Mop Hard Floor Cleaner with Swivel Steering XL Water Tank (S3501), 18 Feet Power...
Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System Pocket (S5003D) Steam Mop, Burgundy/Gray
BISSELL Power Fresh Steam Mop, Floor Steamer, Tile Cleaner, and Hard Wood Floor Cleaner, 1940, Blue...
Bissell Spinwave, 2307 Cordless Hard Mop, Wood Floor Cleaner and Buffer
Steam Mop Cleaner 10-in-1 with Convenient Detachable Handheld Unit, Laminate/Hardwood/Tiles/Carpet...
Shark Steam Pocket Mop Hard Floor Cleaner with Swivel Steering XL Water Tank (S3501), 18 Feet Power...
Shark Steam Pocket Mop Hard Floor Cleaner with Swivel Steering XL Water Tank (S3501), 18 Feet Power...
Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System Pocket (S5003D) Steam Mop, Burgundy/Gray
Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System Pocket (S5003D) Steam Mop, Burgundy/Gray
BISSELL Power Fresh Steam Mop, Floor Steamer, Tile Cleaner, and Hard Wood Floor Cleaner, 1940, Blue...
BISSELL Power Fresh Steam Mop, Floor Steamer, Tile Cleaner, and Hard Wood Floor Cleaner, 1940, Blue...
Bissell Spinwave, 2307 Cordless Hard Mop, Wood Floor Cleaner and Buffer
Bissell Spinwave, 2307 Cordless Hard Mop, Wood Floor Cleaner and Buffer
Steam Mop Cleaner 10-in-1 with Convenient Detachable Handheld Unit, Laminate/Hardwood/Tiles/Carpet...
Steam Mop Cleaner 10-in-1 with Convenient Detachable Handheld Unit, Laminate/Hardwood/Tiles/Carpet...

As you can see, there are two brands that are sharing the stage for front runner here, Bissell vs Shark steam mops.

After we take a closer look at these mops, we’ll compare the two brands.

Now, let’s take a look at each of these steam mops in more detail.

Shark Steam Pocket Mop

This classic Shark steam pocket mop is an all around great pick when it comes to the best steam mop for tiles.  This is the one I have.

It heats up super fast, and see the double sided head?  This means you can simply flip the head over when the pad gets dirty, instead of having to change it when it is hot.

You can also buy extra pads beyond the two microfiber pads it comes with.

Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System

Shark makes a great steam mop, no matter how you look at it.  The Shark Genius is splurge worthy, since it has more features than the Shark Steam Pocket Mop.

First of all, it has three modes of steam to help you clean even the toughest spills and dirt, and it comes with a scrubbing dirt grip pad vs the microfiber pad, which of course gives you two sides of cleaning.  You can also pick up extra pads so you can do the whole house at once.

What sets it apart from every other steam mop out there is the innovative hands free touch free system to change the pad and remove it.  You never have to touch the dirtiest part of the steam mop!

Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop

Bissell is known for their various floor cleaning devices, like vacuum cleaners and carpet cleaners, so it is no surprise they also have a steam mop.

While it does have three different steam settings, unfortunately you cannot flip the head over for extra cleaning range like your can with its shark counterparts, although you can purchase extra pads.

It is super light, and only weighs 6 pounds, which makes it easy to bring around the house for cleaning.

Bissell SpinWave Hard Mop

This Bissell hard mop makes floor cleaning a breeze with its motorized heads.  As a bonus, it is also cordless, making it easy to bring around the house without worrying where to plug it in.

If you are looking to a fullly electric alternative to make mopping and scrubbing easier, this mop will do all of the work for you.

The only drawback it that the battery life is only 20 minutes.

Bissell vs Shark Steam Mop

As you can see, both Bissell and Shark are well known in the steam mop area.

While many are comparable, there are a couple differences that we will point out for you.

Bissell Powerfresh Steam Mop vs Shark Genius

When it comes to the Shark Genius vs Bissell Powerfresh steam mop it really comes down to one important distill iron.

With the Shark Genius steam mop (and all other Shark mops) the cleaning pad has two sides, meaning once the first side is dirty, you can flip the head and keep cleaning, versus having to stop and change the pad.

This all comes down to how much area you are trying to clean with a single pad, and how dirty your floor is.

The flipping mechanism also makes it easy to see how dirty the pad is without crouching down to look.

For that reason, we choose the Shark steam mops every.

Shark Steam Mop vs Bissell Spinwave

When it comes to the shark steam mop vs Bissell Spinwave, there are two very important distinctions.

  1. The Bissell Spinwave is cordless with a 20 minute battery life.
  2. The Bissell Spinwave also uses a different mechanism.  The cleaning pads spin, allowing you to get a deeper clean with less work.

Which one is right for you?  It really comes down to personal preference, and much much area you are cleaning.  If you can get by with the Bissell Spinwave’s 20 minutes, then why not?

Steam Mop Cleaner – 10 in 1

This steam mop is more than just a steam mop!  It comes with a number of attachments to make cleaning more than just your floor a cinch.

The center of this steam cleaner is detectable, turning it into a hand held steam device allowing you to steam wrinkled clothes, and also use the small attachments to get into hard to each places to clean with steam.

Picking the Best Steam Mop for Tile Floors

There are a number of things to think about when it comes to picking the best steam mop for tile floors.

  • Corded or cordless?  Pay attention to the cord length, since many models must be plugged in.  Cordless models only have a certain amount of battery life.
  • Cleaning pads.  Are the cleaning pads single sided or dual sided?  Can you buy extra ones?  How hard are they to change?
  • Features.  Do you want to use your steam mop for just cleaning tile floors, are are you looking for a more versatile product?

Let’s look at our steam mops for tiles one more time:

Sale
Shark Steam Pocket Mop Hard Floor Cleaner with Swivel Steering XL Water Tank (S3501), 18 Feet Power...
Clean and sanitize with both sides; Steam on demand; 99.9% sanitization; Sanitization with no harsh chemicals
Sale
Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System Pocket (S5003D) Steam Mop, Burgundy/Gray
Water tank capacity: 220 milliliter 3 setting intelligent steam control; Double sided dirt grip washable pads
BISSELL Power Fresh Steam Mop, Floor Steamer, Tile Cleaner, and Hard Wood Floor Cleaner, 1940, Blue...
Power through tough, sticky messes with the flip down easy scrubber; Features swivel steering and a 23 foot power cord. Ready to use in 30 seconds
Bissell Spinwave, 2307 Cordless Hard Mop, Wood Floor Cleaner and Buffer
Powerful, hard floor spin mop reduces cleaning efforts by scrubbing floors for you; Enjoy the convenience of cordless freedom to clean more areas in your home

Our favorite all around model is the Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System , however it does have a cord and must be plugged in during use.

If you are looking for a cordless or wireless option, then the Bissell Hard Mop is the best choice for you.

Finally, if you are all about features, then the Steam Mop Cleaner - 10 in 1 is a strong contender.

Why Steam Clean Tile Floors?

Steam cleaners are my favorite things for tile floors (as well as other hard surfaces like laminate and linoleum) since they use the power of heat, which is effective for both getting rid of dirt and killing bacteria.

Instead of a traditional mop and bucket, a steam cleaner can be effective with just plain water, there is no need for harmful or harsh chemicals.  This is especially important when thinking about the impact to children and pets.

The pads of steam cleaners can also be simply washed and re-used, and are easy to clean, unlike a traditional mop.

Do Steam Mops Damage Tile Floors?

People sometimes hesitate to pick up a steam mop for their tile floors, since they wonder do steam mops damage tile floors?

The answer is absolutely not.  You are using the pure power of steam, and pads and brushes on the steam mop that have been designed with tile floors in mind.

Rest assured a steam mop is one of the best, easies, and eco friendly ways to get your floor clean – no chemicals required!

Finding the Best Pizzelle Maker

If you came here looking for the best pizelle maker, chances are you already know what pizelle are!  If not, let me take a moment to introduce you to this wonderful Italian treat.

Pizelle are a very thin and crispy Italian cookie that require a special press to make, almost like a waffle iron.  Usually they are favorite with anise (think black licorice), but if that isn’t for you you can also use other flavors.

Now, let’s take a look at some electric pizelle makers.

The Best Pizelle Maker

Let’s take a look at some of the best Pizelle makers on the market:

Item
Cuisinart WM-PZ10 Pizzelle Press
Palmer Pizzelle Maker Classic
CucinaPro Pizzelle Maker - Non Stick
CucinaPro Pizelle Maker - Polished
CucinaPro Mini Pizelle Maker
Image
Cuisinart WM-PZ10 Pizzelle Press, Silver
Palmer Pizzelle Maker Classic - Make 2 Delicious Pizzelles In Half The Time Required By Hand Irons -...
Pizzelle Maker- Non-stick Electric Pizzelle Baker Press Makes Two 5-Inch Cookies at Once- Recipes...
CucinaPro Polished Pizzelle Maker
CucinaPro Mini Italian Pizzelle Waffle Maker Iron - Makes Four 3 1/4 Inch Pizzelle Traditional...
Number and Size of Cookies
Two 4"
Two 5"
Two 5"
Two 5"
Four 3.25"
Item
Cuisinart WM-PZ10 Pizzelle Press
Image
Cuisinart WM-PZ10 Pizzelle Press, Silver
Number and Size of Cookies
Two 4"
More Info
Item
Palmer Pizzelle Maker Classic
Image
Palmer Pizzelle Maker Classic - Make 2 Delicious Pizzelles In Half The Time Required By Hand Irons -...
Number and Size of Cookies
Two 5"
More Info
Item
CucinaPro Pizzelle Maker - Non Stick
Image
Pizzelle Maker- Non-stick Electric Pizzelle Baker Press Makes Two 5-Inch Cookies at Once- Recipes...
Number and Size of Cookies
Two 5"
More Info
Item
CucinaPro Pizelle Maker - Polished
Image
CucinaPro Polished Pizzelle Maker
Number and Size of Cookies
Two 5"
More Info
Item
CucinaPro Mini Pizelle Maker
Image
CucinaPro Mini Italian Pizzelle Waffle Maker Iron - Makes Four 3 1/4 Inch Pizzelle Traditional...
Number and Size of Cookies
Four 3.25"
More Info

All of these options are electric, because why not take advantage of modern day technology when making pizelle.

The most important think to take a look at when picking an electric pizelle maker are the size and pattern of this finished cookie.

Cuisinart Pizzelle Press (WM-PZ10)

Known for their kitchen electrics, Cuisinart does not disappoint with this pizelle press.  It makes two 4″ cookies, and features a knob to set your unit to the desired cooking darkness, and indicator lights for both power and to indicate if the pizelle is ready.

It also folds up for easy storage on the kitchen counter.  This is truly one of the best set it and forget it units for pizelle cooking, but don’t go too far as this thin Italian cookie cooks very fast.

The Cusinart Pizelle press is one of the most popular models around.

Palmer Pizzelle Maker Classic

This Pizelle maker looks like it is straight out of your grandmother’s kitchen in Italy.  Yes, it does plug in, but other than that is really a classic, traditional pizelle maker.

This model makes two 5″ pizelle cookies.  It lacks bells and whistles, but after heating up for about 15 minutes it is ready to crank out those pizelle.

If you are looking for a nostalgic pizelle maker, this one is it.  It makes a great gift for those looking to re-create some Italian magic.

CucinaPro Pizelle Irons

Now, let’s take a look at the CucinaPro Pizelle irons on this list.  As you can see, there are three pizelle makers from CucinaPro on this list, and that’s for a reason.

Some people are very picky when it comes to the surface they want for their pizelle maker.  CucinaPro is unique in that it offers both non stick and polished stainless steel surfaces on the inside of the pizelle iron.

There’s also one for mini pizelle!

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of them.

CucinaPro Pizzelle Maker – Non Stick

This non-stick pizelle maker makes two 5″ cookies.  It is a modern version of a classic, but if it is a little too modern stay tuned for our next pizelle maker.

While it doesn’t look like it, it is an electric model, and has a bracket to hold the press closed as you make your pizelle.  It does not have a built in timer, but it does have an indicator light.

According to the reviews, this pizelle maker takes about 50 seconds for the perfect pizelle, but this will vary on how you like yours, and the batter you are using.

CucinaPro Pizelle Maker – Polished

Like its non-stick counterpart, this pizelle maker makes two 5″ cookies.  The big difference here is that this pizelle maker does not have a non-stick coating.

This model is a clear throwback to the pizelle makers your grandmother, great grandmother, and even her grandmother used.  If you are looking for a true authentic pizelle maker, with an old time feel, this is the pizelle maker for you.

CucinaPro Mini Pizelle Maker

This mini Pizelle maker makes four 3.25″ pizelle.  This is great if you are making pizelle for large groups, or just looking for something different.

It operates jut like its other CucinaPro counterparts.  It is a fun option and something different than the norm when it comes to pizelle.

Picking the Best Pizelle Maker

When it comes to picking the best pizelle maker, it all comes down the size of the pizelle, and some features of the pizelle maker.

If you absolutely do not want a non-stick surface on your Pizelle maker, the Polished CucinaPro Pizelle Maker is the choice for you.  In fact, many seem to prefer this model over its non-stick counterpart.

If you are looking for the most authentic feel from a non-stick pizelle maker, then the Palmer Pizzelle Maker Classic - Make 2 Delicious Pizzelles In Half The Time Required By Hand Irons -... is the choice for you.

If you are looking for a 4″ pizelle, look no further than the Cuisinart WM-PZ10 Pizzelle Press, Silver, which also has a number of advanced features like the ability to adjust darkness and cooking time.

For something a bit different, do not miss the CucinaPro Mini Pizelle Maker which makes four smaller pizelle.

Tips for Perfect Pizelles

If you do not have a family pizelle recipe, the first thing to start with is a good recipe.  I like this pizelle recipe from King Arthur Flour.  The first thing you will notice is that it uses vanilla extract instead of anise extract.

If you really want that classic Italian feel, you can also add anise extract which is probably something you don’t normally have on hand.

A pizelle maker is a lot like a waffle iron, and needs some time to break in.  In the beginning, be sure to lightly coat the plates with your favorite cooking oil.  Over time, you will probably not need to do this.

The good thing about pizelle is they are very thin, which means they cook fast, and you can make a ton in one batch.  Take your time to figure out the optimal cooking time for pizelle the way you like them.

Cleaning Your Pizelle Maker

It is important to note that the plates do not come out of the pizelle makers reviewed here.

You may automatically think that you need one with removable plates, but the truth is you can get by without them, unlike with some waffle irons.

Looking for the best waffle maker with removable plates?  Be sure to check out our guide!

To clean your pizelle maker, unplug it from the wall.  Completely soak a paper towel with water, wring it out, and place it so it covers the plates.  Then close it. You pizelle maker will make some steam, but give it a few minutes.

Remove the paper towel, and your pizelle maker will be clean!

Pizelle are a treat in every Italian household around the holidays, and the best pizelle maker is a great gift for every Italian cook.

Picking the Best Activity Table for Your Baby

If you have a baby, you know they like to explore their surroundings, and well, get into just about everything once they are mobile.

Activity tables for babies are a great way for babies to safely explore new things, and continue to develop their motor skills.  Today we are going to take a look at the best baby activity table, no matter what you are looking for.

Best Activity Table for Babies

LeapFrog Little Office Learning Center (Frustration Free Packaging), Green
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Around The Town Learning Table
VTech Magic Star Learning Table, Pink (Frustration Free Packaging)
Bright Starts Having a Ball Get Rollin' Activity Table
Baby Einstein Discovering Music Activity Table
LeapFrog Little Office Learning Center (Frustration Free Packaging), Green
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Around The Town Learning Table
VTech Magic Star Learning Table, Pink (Frustration Free Packaging)
Bright Starts Having a Ball Get Rollin' Activity Table
Baby Einstein Discovering Music Activity Table
$39.99
$49.40
$39.99
$39.99
$34.99
LeapFrog Little Office Learning Center (Frustration Free Packaging), Green
LeapFrog Little Office Learning Center (Frustration Free Packaging), Green
$39.99
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Around The Town Learning Table
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Around The Town Learning Table
$49.40
VTech Magic Star Learning Table, Pink (Frustration Free Packaging)
VTech Magic Star Learning Table, Pink (Frustration Free Packaging)
$39.99
Bright Starts Having a Ball Get Rollin' Activity Table
Bright Starts Having a Ball Get Rollin' Activity Table
$39.99
Baby Einstein Discovering Music Activity Table
Baby Einstein Discovering Music Activity Table
$34.99

You will notice there are many similarities between these activity tables for babies, and you are right.  It really comes down to two different things when deciding on the best activity table for your baby: what do you like, and what you think they will like!

Let’s take a closer look at some activity tables.

LeapFrog Little Office Learning Center

This table is nothing but adorable.  I know my child loves to help me “work” and this is the perfect activity table for them to help with!

It comes complete with laptop and phone, and help your little one develop both their English and Spanish skills.

If your little one isn’t quite ready to stand up, the play surface can be taken off the legs fro some fun on the floor.

Pros

  • Available with frustrating free packaging
  • More than 27 different ways to engage for baby
  • Fully bilingual in English and Spanish

Cons

  • This is a great toy, but some parents may not want their children playing with a little office!

Get More Information on LeapFrog Little Office Learning Center!

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Around The Town Learning Table

I have to admit, we pretty much buy anything with the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn label in our house, because we love Puppy so much!

The best part about Laugh & Learn toys is the Smart Stages feature.  This feature provides 3 levels of learning to change as your child grows, and keep them interested in the toy.

Pros

  • Laugh and learn toys are a favorite among babies, with 4 places to visit
  • 9 lights and over 120 sounds
  • Teaches letters, numbers, opposites, colors, and Spanish words

Cons

  • Some say it begins showing signs of wear and tear easily

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Around The Town Learning Table!

VTech Magic Star Learning Table, Pink (Also Available in Yellow)

This table is unique since it comes in pink, which most don’t, which is why I’ve shown it here.

If you don’t like pink, it also comes in Yellow:

My favorite feature of the VTech Magic Star Learning Table which is unique is the steering wheel, which many children seem to love.  After all, a steering wheel is a staple activity at many playgrounds.

It has a total of 6 activities, and is jam packed with fun for any baby.

Pros

  • Available in both pink and yellow
  • 6  activities in both English and Spanish
  • Lights up and plays music

Cons

  • Some complain it is a bit light and flimsy

Get More Information on VTech Magic Star Learning Table

Bright Starts Having a Ball Get Rollin’ Activity Table

This baby table has a feature that none other do – balls!  The balls come out on the legs when you put them inside the various activities of the table.  This is absolutely guaranteed to keep your little one captivated if they like to play with balls.

Bright Starts is known for their high quality developmental toys for babies, and this table is no exception.

Pros

  • This activity table has balls for baby to chase, unlike the others on this list
  • Jungle themed
  • Over 60 sounds and activities

Cons

  • Be sure to store the balls on the table or baby may hide them!

Get more Information on Bright Starts Having a Ball Get Rollin' Activity Table

Baby Einstein Discovering Music Activity Table

This Baby Einstein table is all about music.  If you or your little one love music, this table is for you.

It has the most variety of songs compared to the other baby activity tables, and all of the activities are based around different musical instruments.

Pros

  • Teaches three languages: English, Spanish, and French
  • Music mode allows for babies to be the conductors of their own orchestra
  • Also teaches colors and numbers

Cons

  • Some people say it doesn’t have enough moving parts for baby to explore, just buttons

Get more Information onBaby Einstein Discovering Music Activity Table

Picking the Best Activity Table for Babies

You can’t go wrong with any of the activity tables we have taken a look at.  They are all engaging, and all come off of the legs for younger babies.

It really comes down to which table do you think will be most appealing to your baby, and is most appealing to you to play with along with them!

Let’s take a look at the tables one more time:

LeapFrog Little Office Learning Center (Frustration Free Packaging), Green
Hear ten songs and greetings from around the world by spinning the light-up globe
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Around The Town Learning Table
4 fun places for baby to visit Puppy’s home, the market, the zoo and the farm; Press the interactive phone button for fun phrases that add to the role-play fun
VTech Magic Star Learning Table, Pink (Frustration Free Packaging)
Frustration Free Packaging means it comes easier to open in a plain brown box.
Bright Starts Having a Ball Get Rollin' Activity Table
4 languages: English, Spanish, French and German; The ly hippo opens and closes and makes silly sounds
Baby Einstein Discovering Music Activity Table
Empowers baby to make their own magical music; Features piano, drum, guitar and French horn

Each of these items has a different appeal, but the core function is all the same.

The great thing about these baby activity tables is they all bring a unique perspective to your baby.  You can’t go wrong with any of the baby tables on this list!

What is Frustration Free Packaging?

If you have taken a look at ordering these baby activity tables you have noticed they all come with frustration free packaging.

Frustration free packaging means it basically comes in a plain cardboard box you just need to open.

Traditionally, as I’m sure you already know, many toys come in a box that has the front cut out to display the toy, and all sorts of things holding in the box.  Screws, zip ties, wire, you name it, I’ve seen it, and hated it.

Frustration free packaging is a nice way to get right down to playing, but usually is not as visually applying to the child as a traditional package.

Why A Play Table for Babies is the Perfect Gift

If you’re looking for a gift for a baby, whether it be for a holiday, birthday, or just because, consider a play table for babies!

These are great gifts because they are adjustable to grow with the baby, and have a ton of developmental activities packed in.  Besides providing development and and fun for baby, they are usually a good time for adults too!

 

The Best Toy for a 4 Year Old

Are you looking for the best toy for a 4 year old?  We scoured the internet for the best toys for 4 year olds, boys or girls.  Each and every toy in this list is something that is great for every four year old, and will even teach them something when they play with it and build skills!

Let’s take look at toys for four year olds!  These are toys we found to be unique and educational, and toys you probably wouldn’t have thought of otherwise!

These unique gifts for 4 year olds are sure to put a smile on every face in the room, even the parents!

The Best Toy for a 4 Year Old

Each and any of these would be a great gift for a 4 year old, so let’s take a closer look at them.

LURLIN 3 in 1 Dinosaur Jigsaw Puzzles in a Wooden Storage Box & Realistic Dinosaur Figures
LINCOLN LOGS
Adventure Kidz Outdoor Exploration Kit
YEEBAY Interactive Whack A Frog Game
Let Loose Moose Hover Soccer Ball
LURLIN 3 in 1 Dinosaur Jigsaw Puzzles in a Wooden Storage Box & 12 Pcs Realistic Dinosaur Figures -...
LINCOLN LOGS –100th Anniversary Tin-111 Pieces-Real Wood Logs-Ages 3+ - Best Retro Building Gift...
Adventure Kidz - Outdoor Exploration Kit, Children’s Toy Binoculars, Flashlight, Compass, Whistle,...
YEEBAY Interactive Whack A Frog Game, Learning, Active, Early Developmental Toy, Fun Gift for Age 3,...
LLMoose Hover Soccer Ball Set of 2, Hover Ball with LED Lights and Soft Foam Bumpers to Protect...
LURLIN 3 in 1 Dinosaur Jigsaw Puzzles in a Wooden Storage Box & Realistic Dinosaur Figures
LURLIN 3 in 1 Dinosaur Jigsaw Puzzles in a Wooden Storage Box & 12 Pcs Realistic Dinosaur Figures -...
LINCOLN LOGS
LINCOLN LOGS –100th Anniversary Tin-111 Pieces-Real Wood Logs-Ages 3+ - Best Retro Building Gift...
Adventure Kidz Outdoor Exploration Kit
Adventure Kidz - Outdoor Exploration Kit, Children’s Toy Binoculars, Flashlight, Compass, Whistle,...
YEEBAY Interactive Whack A Frog Game
YEEBAY Interactive Whack A Frog Game, Learning, Active, Early Developmental Toy, Fun Gift for Age 3,...
Let Loose Moose Hover Soccer Ball
LLMoose Hover Soccer Ball Set of 2, Hover Ball with LED Lights and Soft Foam Bumpers to Protect...

There is not one single perfect toy for a 4 year old, but the 4 year old you are shopping for is bound to love something on this list.

Best of all?  These are the best educational toys for 4 year olds around, and the child won’t even realize how much they are learning when playing with these and having a great time.

LURLIN 3 in 1 Dinosaur Jigsaw Puzzles in a Wooden Storage Box & Realistic Dinosaur Figures

Dinosaurs are one of those things almost every child enjoys, especially around the age of 4.  This is because they are beginning to understand the world around them and the thought of real live dinosaurs all those millions of years ago is fascinating to them!

This consists of 12 dinosaurs that are durable and bright in color that actually stand up!  It also has 3 Dinosaur wooden Jigsaw Puzzles in a Box.

Each puzzle has a different amount of puzzle pieces along with a varying degree of difficulty for a fun and challenging activity for your 4 year old.

The playset includes a dinosaur name booklet which will help your child learn the names of dinosaurs.  If your child loves dinosaurs, then they will enjoy this.

Get more information on LURLIN 3 in 1 Dinosaur Jigsaw Puzzles in a Wooden Storage Box & Realistic Dinosaur Figures

LINCOLN LOGS

Lincoln Logs are a classic toy, and age 4 is the perfect age to get started with them!  This special Lincoln Log package comes in a collectible tin.

The package includes 111 pieces made of real, high-quality maple wood.

If you aren’t familiar with how they work, they have indentations that rest on each other to build structures and connect them. 

This is a Creative Construction Engineering that will be enjoyed by many children and help with both their motor skill and logical skill development.

It even comes with instructions, or you can build whatever you would like.  Your 4 year old will play with this toy for hours and hours, and adults enjoy it to since they may have had it during their childhood.

Get more information on LINCOLN LOGS

Adventure Kidz Outdoor Exploration Kit

If you want your 4 year old to begin to foster a love of the outdoors, or just get outside and play, then this toy is for them!

This set is all about STEM learning and beginning to understand how the scientific method works, specifically when it comes to exploration!  Your child will learn to love nature.

It can also help them stretch their imagination indoors on days it is not nice enough to play outside.

This exploration set contains: Toy Binoculars, Flashlight, Compass, Whistle, Magnifying Glass, Backpack. Great Kids Gift Set for Camping, Hiking, Educational and Pretend Play.

It is lots of fun and encourages the kids to get outside and explore!

Get more information on Adventure Kidz Outdoor Exploration Kit

YEEBAY Interactive Whack A Frog Game

Now for something completely different!  This Whack-A-Frog can help develop motor skills and hand eye coordination.

Did I mention it is just plain fun to whack these Frogs?

This game also teaches your child to pay attention to wait for the flashing lights to try and whack the frog.

It has the ability to support multiple players to teach your 4 year old to take turns.

It has 38 levels to play on, which increase in difficulty, and comes with two hammers making it great for an adult to play with too.

Get more information on YEEBAY Interactive Whack A Frog Game

Let Loose Moose Hover Soccer Ball

This is another entry in the unique category.  The Let Loose Moose Hover soccer ball has lights to add a new dimension to the traditional game of soccer.

It can be used on smooth surfaces, indoor and out, and is a great way for your four year old to get some exercise and develop coordination.

The hovering portion of this toy introduces a unique aspect that will encourage your child to not kick it up in the air and break the furniture making it much better for indoor play than a regular ball.

This is great for days when everyone is cooped up inside together, or days when the weather is nicer to play outside

Because it comes in a set of two, you can make one an outside hover ball and the other an indoor hover ball!

Get more information on Let Loose Moose Hover Soccer Ball

Picking the Best Toy for a 4 Year Old 

Each of these options is great for the 4 year old you are shopping for.  We strive to give unique recommendations that aren’t what you would normally see at the store.

These unique gifts for 4 year olds are great for birthdays, holidays, or just because!

Let’s take a look at these toys for four year olds one more time:

It is hard to pick one best toy from this list!  Each of them will help a four year old develop things like curiosity, STEM skills, motor skills, and more.

It really depends on what you think would be best suited for the four year old you are shopping for.

If you are trying to foster of love of the outdoors, start with the Adventure Kidz Outdoor Exploration Kit to get them out there!

Likewise, the Let Loose Moose Hover Soccer Ball comes in a set of two, so you can have one for inside and one for outside.

If you are looking for something to play with a four year old, the YEEBAY Interactive Whack A Frog Game because it is a lot of fun, and will teach skills like patience and paying close attention.

Most 4 year olds love dinosaurs, and the LURLIN 3 in 1 Dinosaur Jigsaw Puzzles in a Wooden Storage Box & Realistic Dinosaur Figures comes with dinosaurs to play with, and teaches critical thinking and logic skills with puzzles.

Finally, you can’t go wrong with LINCOLN LOGS, and may even find yourself feeling nostalgic.

In fact, you can’t go wrong with any of the toys on this list!

Presents for Cooking Lovers – Ultimate 2020 Guide

No matter the occasion, I always try to think about a person’s likes and dislikes when I am purchasing a gift for them.

I’m not big on gift cards or anything too generic (like a sweater).

It can take a lot of time and effort to find the right gift for someone.

One thing I really know about is presents for people who love to cook, since I have many friends that love to cook just as much as I do!

These are all gifts I have given or received somewhere along the line, and that have been a hit!

If you are looking for gifts for cooks who have everything, don’t worry, I promise there is something they don’t have in this list.

Presents for Cooking Lovers

There are a couple of things to think about as you are picking your best gifts for cooking lovers.  Here are some things to keep in mind while you decide:

  • Usability.  Is this something they will use all of the time, or once in a while?
  • Colors.  Is this something that will blend into their kitchen decor?
  • Personalization.  Can this item be personalized?
  • Price.  What is your budget for this present?

Here are some of my favorite kitchen gifts, broken down by category with these questions in mind.

Best Practical Presents for Cooking Lovers

These are some of my favorite practical items that your favorite cook needs, but probably hasn’t thought of on their own.

Electric Warming Tray

 I love to cook, which means I love to have people over to eat my cooking.

One of the things that has always burned me (see what I did there?) is making sure I have the timing right for all the side dishes, especially during holidays.

I can’t tell you how many times something just ended up being too cold.

This electric warming tray solves that problem.  Simply place your dishes on this tray and you can be assured they will still be warm when it is time to serve.

This is a great gift for someone who is just getting started hosting dinners or holidays!  Or the perfect gift for your holiday host – they will be sure to appreciate it.

Herb Scissors

 If you love to cook, then you know there are just some dishes that need fresh herbs.

You know they do, but you still hesitate to put a little bit of parsley on top.

Why?  Because parsley is evil.  It sticks to your hands and your knife and your cutting board and takes forever to cut.

These herb scissors change the game.  Just cut your fresh herbs over your plates or into your food, and you’re done.  No more messy clean up and wasted herbs stuck to your hands.

Any home cook who loves fresh herbs will appreciate this thoughtful gift.

Best Presents for Cooks That Come in Different Colors

Want to make sure to get something to match your favorite home cook’s kitchen decor?  These items come in multiple colors.

Silicone Spatula Set

 This silicone spatula set comes in three different colors: dark blue as shown, mint green, and light blue making it the perfect choice to add a pop of color to a kitchen.

It is also practical.  Silicone spatulas are safe for use in all pots and pans, you don’t need to worry about scraping or damaging any coatings when using silicone.

Bamboo Kitchen Towels

I love these bamboo kitchen towels, and they are one of my go to gifts.

They come in a variety of colors and textures, so you are sure to find the right one for the person you are shopping for.

They are super absorbent, and bamboo is an eco friendly material that is naturally resistant to microbes and bacteria.

Best Personalized Presents for Home Cooks

Show how thoughtful you are with these great personalized items for your favorite home cook.  These are great gifts for cooks who have everything!

Personalized Cutting Board

A personalized cutting board is one of the coolest thing you can buy for someone who loves to cook.

It is a great way for them to display their fine culinary works and master pieces as a serving piece.

Or, it will make them smile every time they use it to chop something.

This is an especially nice gift for a newlywed couple who loves to cook together!

Personalized Wooden Spoon

Is there anything a home cook uses more than the classic wooden spoon?

Give them a thoughtful gift that will have them thinking about you every time they use it to stir.

Besides being a great every day use item, your recipient may also choose to display it.  It adds a bit of flair to any utensil holder.

Gifts for Aspiring Chefs

If you’re looking for something to gift to someone who’s just getting started in the kitchen, you’ve come to the right place.  These cost effective presents for someone who cooks are incredibly useful, but won’t break the bank.

These are the perfect gifts for aspiring chefs, as they are extremely useful!

Silicone Coated Tongs – Set of Two

This is a great set of kitchen tongs in two sizes.

You can’t go wrong with these tongs for anyone who loves to cook.

We’re always running out of clean tongs!  The silicone coating also ensures they are safe for all cookware types.

Scraper and Chopper (Pastry Blade)

 This scraper and chopper, also known as a pastry blade is good for so many things besides doughs.

Chop soft veggies, scrape your cutting boards, and of course cut doughs with this versatile tool.

It also includes a ruler for measuring out lengths of doughs or veggie hunks.

This is one of my all time favorite kitchen accessories, and the AmazonBasics one is so cost effective you can even buy two!

Best Expensive Presents for Someone Who Loves to Cook

Does that special someone in your life love to cook?  Here are some great presents that cost a bit more than my other suggestions.

Philips Premium Digital Airfryer

The Philips Air Fryers are the best air fryers you can possibly buy.

I love them so much, I have two, and they are always going in our house.

French fries, veggies, meatballs, chicken fingers, you name it, I have air fried it.

Since you only need a tiny bit of oil, this is a great present that will help that special someone eat healthy.

Instant Pot Ultra 6 Quart

If I’m not using an Air Fryer, I’m using an Instant Pot.

Anything you can make in a slow cooker, you can make in an Instant Pot.

It is also great for things like rice or oatmeal that take a long time on the stove, as well as soups and stocks.

Best Gifts for Cooking Lovers

I hope this guide helped you decide the best gifts for the people in your life who love to cook.

Let’s take a look at these gifts one more time.

They are great for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, or well, just because!

Looking for more gift ideas?  Be sure to take a look at Gifts for the Culinary Enthusiast, which as something for the culinary enthusiast in their life whether they are an established chef, love to cook, love to eat, or are just getting started in the kitchen.

Whether you are looking to spend a lot or a little, this guide has something for everyone on your list.

 

The Best Cooking Presents for Him

Gift giving can be tough, especially when it is someone close to you.  Are you looking for a present for that special cook in your life?  These cooking presents for him will be sure to make any guy pleased when he opens his gift.

Whether it be Christmas, Valentines Day, Father’s Day, a birthday, or just because, these gifts are sure to please all of the guys on your list.  This guide includes something in ever price range, so you will be sure to find the perfect cooking present.

Here is a list of ten different things to choose from so you can find the bet gifts for men that cook.  While I called this list “gifts for men who like to cook” since these all have been tested on my husband, they can apply to anyone!

Gifts for Men that Cook

Here is the ultimate list of cool, unique, and useful gifts for men that love to cook.  There is nothing on this list he won’t use!

Cosmos Kitchen Knife Set

This totally falls under appropriate for anyone, but if he loves space, this is an awesome knife set to either display or use!

Is there any cooler accessory for the kitchen astronaut in your life?  Of course not!

YOCOYCHEF Grill Tools Set

We grill all year long, so a grill tool set is always an appropriate gift.

There are many, many grill tool sets out there, but this one is one of my favorites.  Why?  Simple.  It comes with a sleek carrying case, as well as a stand to put the utensils on.

When you are undertaking a nice long day of grilling and smoking like we usually do, you can set up the utensils on the stand outside.

Then when you are done, pack them away in the neat case.

Custom Cutting Board

What is better to put everything on after you take it off the grill than a customized cutting board?

The answer.  Nothing. This is a really nice gift that is also very practical, and will get tons of use.

If he loves to cook, and you’re running out of ideas, you can’t go wrong with this one, and since it is personalized for him, there is no way he already has it!

Hot Sauce Kit

It can be difficult to find the perfect hot sauce.  Some are too hot, some are too mild, and some are too sweet.

This is why many people are 100% loyal to a particular brand of hot sauce.

Expand your horizons by creating your 100% customized hot sauce.  Get the spice and sweetness you like with this kit.

Guitar Utensils

This one may be a little out there, but my husband is an avid guitar player and fan.  If that special someone in your life plays guitar, likes heavy metal, or has always wanted to play the guitar, these utensils are for them!

Use them or put them on display, either way they are a super cool addition to your kitchen – and a great conversation starter!

Hamilton Beach Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker

Breakfast sandwiches are great, but they are often loaded with salt and all sorts of other nasty things.

This breakfast sandwich maker is quick and easy to use, and allows you a custom breakfast on the go.

Bonus!  It makes two at once, so you can get one too!  It is a win win situation, and truly a gift that keeps on giving.

It does, however also come with as a single version which you can find on the product page.

Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun

File this one under ultra cool kitchen gadgets.  Wonder what temperature your pan is?  Now you can know with the click of a button!

This may be our favorite gift for men that cook!  Why?  Simple!  It can do even more!

While not related to cooking, it is also fun to run around the house and take the temperature of…well…everything!

Cooking Socks

One of our favorite gifts in my house is crazy socks.

These cooking socks are the perfect gift for anyone who loves to cook, and won’t break the bank.

You can’t go wrong with these socks, because who doesn’t need a new pair of cool socks?

Be sure to browse the product page, because there are all sorts of fun sock designs in addition to cooking!

Sriracha Flavored Salt

 This is a really tasty and unique way to flavor food – Sriracha flavored salt!

This is something different, and as long as the special someone you are shopping for likes Sriracha (and who does’t?) you should be good to go.

My personal favorite use for this is on Popcorn, since putting regular Sriracha salt on it makes it all soggy and gross.

Denim Apron

I don’t know why, but some guys just don’t want to wear an apron while cooking or grilling.

This denim apron is so stylish for anyone, that no guy can reject it!

It also comes in a variety of different colored denims, so you can get the one that suits his fashion sense perfectly and will actually be worn!

The Best Gifts for Men Who Love to Cook

I hope you enjoyed this roundup of cooking presents for the special guy in your life.  These gifts are great for any occasion, and are sure to please even the pickiest guys in the kitchen!

Let’s take a look at this list one more time:

As you can see, we really tried to find some unique gifts for men who like to cook.  He will love everything on this list, and it is full of fresh new ideas for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and well, just because you want to eat!

Finding the Best Train Set for a 2 Year Old

If you are looking for that special train set for your favorite 2 year old look no further.

For some strange reason, kids love trains.  I know mine do!  At the age of 2, you have a couple of important things to think about when buying the best rain set for your 2 year old.

Looking for a train table for your toddler?  Or a train table that comes with a train set?  Click for our guides!

First of all, is the type of track.  Trust me, your train collection will only grow from here, so it is important to make sure you pick one or two types of tracks and standardize them now.

The most popular is a wooden train track that is interoperable with many types of brands if you play your cards right.

If you do now, you’ll be able to play with many many different types of trains for years to come, and have them all work together.

The second is what other toys your two year old is showing an interest in.

Finding the Best Train Set for a Two Year Old

Let’s look at some of my favorite train sets for two year olds, and why I like each of them.

Brio World 33028 Classic Figure 8 Set
Brio World 33424 Classic Deluxe Railway
Lego Duplo Steam Train Set
Lego Duplo Cargo Train Set
55 Piece Wooden Track Train Set
BRIO World 33028 - Classic Figure 8 Set - 22 Piece Wood Toy Train Set with Accessories and Wooden...
BRIO World 33424 - Classic Deluxe Railway Set - 25 Piece Wood Train Set with Accessories and Wooden...
LEGO DUPLO Steam Train 10874 Remote-Control Building Blocks Set Helps Toddlers Learn, Great...
LEGO DUPLO Cargo Train 10875 Exclusive Battery-Operated Building Blocks Set, Best Engineering and...
Wooden Train Tracks Full Set, Deluxe 55 Pcs with 3 Destination Fits Thomas, Brio, IKEA, Chuggington,...
Brio World 33028 Classic Figure 8 Set
BRIO World 33028 - Classic Figure 8 Set - 22 Piece Wood Toy Train Set with Accessories and Wooden...
Brio World 33424 Classic Deluxe Railway
BRIO World 33424 - Classic Deluxe Railway Set - 25 Piece Wood Train Set with Accessories and Wooden...
Lego Duplo Steam Train Set
LEGO DUPLO Steam Train 10874 Remote-Control Building Blocks Set Helps Toddlers Learn, Great...
Lego Duplo Cargo Train Set
LEGO DUPLO Cargo Train 10875 Exclusive Battery-Operated Building Blocks Set, Best Engineering and...
55 Piece Wooden Track Train Set
Wooden Train Tracks Full Set, Deluxe 55 Pcs with 3 Destination Fits Thomas, Brio, IKEA, Chuggington,...

Now, let’s look at our options.  They really break down to my two favorites: Brio and Lego Duplo.  Then, I also found another wooden option that is fantastic, and talk a little bit more about what you should know as you are entering the world of toy trains for the first time.

Brio Train Sets for Two Year Olds

The wooden train set area is jam packed with contenders, but Brio is hands down the best.  The construction is solid wood and stands up to even the roughest toddlers.

The sets you buy now can be interconnected with other sets for bigger kids as your child gets older, in fact, they can be connected with most major wooden railway sets.

If you are a stickler for the age on the box, Brio is hands down the way to go for your 2 year old.  In fact, they have wooden train sets for ages 18 months and up.

Brio World 33028 Classic Figure 8 Set

This is hands down the best train set for any two year old.

This recommendation was my child’s first train set when they were two.  I can’t tell you how many hours we spent playing with this single set, which has now grown.

The track is very easy to assemble for two year olds.  There is a center piece, and all other pieces are curved and completely identical.

There is no wrong way to put this one together, so if your toddler is easily frustrated that is something to consider.

We were hooked by this one!

Get more information on Brio World 33028 Classic Figure 8 Set

Brio World 33424 Classic Deluxe Railway

If you’re into bridges, then this is a great wooden train set for a two year old, and helps them build some great motor skills while building it.

This Brio WORLD Classic Deluxe set is another set specifically for ages two and up. It also comes with some neat raised track that are like bridges.

The only down side to this fantastic set is that the track is a bit more difficult to assemble than the figure 8.

The raised bridge track is also more susceptible to distraction if your two year old is rather rambunctious.  Just something to consider.

Once you get started with Brio trains you will simply keep going.  Welcome to the world of Brio!

Brio World 33424 Classic Deluxe Railway

Lego Duplo Train Sets for Two Year Olds

The two year old age range can be a tough one for toys.  They are too big for baby toys, but too little for some of the advanced stuff.  Besides Brio, Lego Duplo caters to this age.

These Lego Duplo sets are all recommended for ages two and up.  While it is important to keep in mind what kind of train track you are getting started with, the Lego Duplo System is worth it if your child loves legos.

It is important to note that Legos are made of plastic.  Some people prefer not to use plastic toys, in which case Brio is hands down your best option.

Lego Duplo Steam Train Set

If you’re looking for the best plastic train set for at toddler, this is it.

This Lego Duplo steam train is a great starter set for any child.  It features a remote control, and even more Duplos an be added to the train and its car.

The Lego Duplo tracks are very easy to assemble, and are very durable.  They stay connected well even with the toughest of toddlers.

If you are already into the world of Lego Duplo, this set will be a joy to add to your existing collection.

Get more information on Lego Duplo Steam Train Set

Lego Duplo Cargo Train Set

This Lego Duplo Cargo Train Set is INSANE at 119 pieces, and is a great present for a special occasion.  It has everything your toddler has to get going with their new train set.

Not only does it have a train, but it also has a crane and a boat – it covers everything your toddler could ever want to do.

Plus you can add more Duplos for even more fun!

You can never go wrong with Lego Duplo!

Get more information on Lego Duplo Cargo Train Set

Best Cost Effective Option for Toddler Trains

If you are new to the world of trains, you may have a little bit of sticker shock.  These things are not cheap, especially at the 2 year old age point.

Many train sets say ages three and up, not two, which like I said, leaves us in a bit of limbo.  Either you go up on the age a bit, or keep looking around.

 This option by ToysOpoly specifically calls out ages two years and up in its product description, making it a rarity in the wooden train space.

Plus, it is more cost effect than the Brio train AND it will work with the Brio track!

As your child gets older you will most likely see yourself mixing and matching wooden train tracks.

Get more information on 55 Piece Wooden Track Train Set

Why I Didn’t Recommend Thomas and Friends Sets

I have a love hate relationship with Thomas and Friends sets.  First of all, they changed to a proprietary wooden track a few years ago.  Thomas and Friends Wood is the current generation, and it does not work with Brio and other wooden systems without plastic adapters I am forever losing.

This is different than Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway, which is compatible with other wood brands like Brio.

My advice is don’t play the Thomas for tracks, unless there is a feature set your child must must have.  The adapters aren’t that great, especially on carpet.

The good news is the Thomas and Friends Wood trains themselves still work fine on other wooden tracks like Brio, so you can still get your child the characters they like.

Sale
Thomas & Friends Wood, Thomas, Multi Color
Made with sustainably sourced wood; Premium, high quality construction; Thomas & Friends train play helps encourage imagination, motor skills and thinking skills
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Thomas & Friends Wood, James
​Made with sustainably-sourced wood; ​Premium, high-quality construction
Sale
Thomas & Friends Wood, Candy Cars, Multi Color
​Made with sustainably-sourced wood; ​Premium, high-quality construction; ​Thomas & Friends train play helps encourage imagination, motor skills and thinking
Thomas & Friends Wood Thomas’ Favorite Friends 3-Pack of Train Engines: Thomas, Ashima and Kevin
Made with sustainably-sourced wood; Premium, high-quality construction; Thomas & Friends train play helps encourage imagination, motor skills and thinking skills
Sale
Thomas & Friends Wood, Spencer, Multicolor
​Made with sustainably-sourced wood; ​Premium, high-quality construction; ​Thomas & Friends train play helps encourage imagination, motor skills and thinking

The Thomas Sets also seem to be the most expensive, even more so than Brio which I find to be a better quality.

However, if you stumble upon any Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway in a store or at a garage sale, go ahead and pick that up!

The Best Train Set for 2 Year Olds

Let’s take a look at all of our options for toddler trains one more time:

Two is a hard age to shop for, but you cannot go wrong with Brio or Lego Duplo options.  The options expand as your child ages, allowing you to mix and match many different wooden railway systems.

How to Clean Mirrors Without Streaks

Mirrors in our home are one of those things we may not clean that often, or may to even realize we should clean until we see visible dirt on them.

When you think about it, mirrors in our bathroom are something we encounter each and every day, and cleaning our mirrors is an important step in cleaning our bathrooms (don’t miss our favorite cleaning cloths for the bathroom)!

Today, I want to share some practical tips for how to keep your mirrors streak free.

How to Clean Mirrors Without Streaks

Are you searching for the secret of how to clean mirrors without streaks?  I know I searched for it for  a long time.  As it turns out, there is not one single trick to streak free mirrors.

There are a couple of things that make a difference for streak free mirrors (and windows), the tools you use to clean your mirrors, and the technique you use to clean them.

First, let’s start with the tools.

What You Need to Clean Mirrors and Windows

There are two basic tools you need to clean your mirrors and windows: something to spray on them, and something to wipe them off with.

AmazonBasics Blue, White, and Yellow Microfiber Cleaning Cloth - Pack of 24
Cleans with or without chemical cleaners, leaves lint and streak free results; Absorbs eight times its own weight
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Glass Plus Glass Cleaner, 32 fl oz Bottle, Multi-Surface Glass Cleaner
Glass cleaner for windows & glass surfaces; Streak free shine; Ammonia-free formula; Great shine, great price
Windex Glass & Multi Surface Cleaner, 32 Oz, Pack of 2
Two - 32 oz. Trigger Spray bottles; Effective glass and multi-surface cleaning.; Loosens soil upon contact - No streaking or filming.

The first thing you need is a microfiber cloth.  A microfiber cloth will not leave residue or lint behind, and will absorb all the cleaning solution.

The next thing you need is something to clean mirrors with.  Many people use some sort of commercial glass cleaner like Windex.

Don’t have any glass cleaner?  Or looking for a more natural way to clean your mirrors?  We have the complete guide to cleaning your mirrors and windows without Windex right here!

Now that we have talked about the tools to clean mirrors with, let’s talk about the techniques.

What is the best way to clean mirrors without streaking?

Now that you have everything you need to clean your mirrors with let’s talk about the best way to clean mirrors.

I know what you want to do.  You want to spray the whole mirror down with cleaning solution.  Then you’re going to wonder everything is streaky.

I’ve always done the same thing, but it turns out that this is not the right way to clean a mirror.

Here is what you really need to know about cleaning mirrors:

Clean your mirrors in small sections at a time, and make sure each section is completely dry before moving on to the next.

This is by far the best way to clean large mirrors, as well as smaller ones.

This is one of the reasons a microfiber cloth is so essential, it will really soak up the moisture from the cleaning solution.

Streaks develop from the cleaner evaporating when you haven’t wiped it away completely, or even from leftover dirt and debris on your mirror.

If your mirror is really dirty, you may want to clean it twice.

You can even use the method of spraying the whole thing down and wiping it down the first time, if you’re just going to clean it a second time who cares if it is streaky at first.

Then the second time, clean your mirror in smaller sections, ensuring each one is completely dry before moving on.

You may also need to use a couple of different cleaning cloths deepening on how big your mirror is.  Remember, the best way to clean large mirrors is to do them in smaller sections, and not skimp on changing your cloth!

That’s really all there is to it.  If you use the right tools and take your time, you will have streak free mirrors in on time at all.

Mirror Cleaning Hacks

One more time, let’s sum up these mirror cleaning hacks.

  • Always use a fresh microfiber cloth, or a few if you are cleaning large mirrors.
  • Clean your mirror in small sections.
  • Clean it quickly and thoroughly after spraying.  Make sure to get all of that cleaning solution off fast!
  • Don’t forget these tips also work for cleaning windows or any other glass surface.

Bona vs Swiffer – What’s the Difference?

If you have hard surfaces in your home like tile, linoleum, laminate, or hardwood you know how much of a pain they are to keep clean.  If you are busy like I am, you are looking for a quick way to get dust and other debris off of the floor.  When it comes to a hard surface, there is only one comparison to really make and that is Bona vs Swiffer.

The Bona vs Swiffer Throw Down

Both Bona and Swiffer are known for making flat mops to clean your hard surface floors.  They both come in two main flavors: dry and wet versions.  The wet versions have a built in sprayer to spray cleaning solution on the floor.  I have never had good luck with these.

Today we are going to be talking about the dry versions.  When it comes to the wet versions, I really have not been impressed at all.  If things are really dirty and grimy, I head right for my steam mop.  I’ll also tell you a couple of hacks at the end of the article to do more with your Bona or Swiffer mop.

Bona vs Swiffer

Item
Bona Microfiber Floor Mop
Sweeper Dry and Wet Floor Mopping and Cleaning Starter Kit (Update Version)
Picture
Bona Microfiber Floor Mop
Sweeper Dry and Wet Floor Mopping and Cleaning Starter Kit (Update Version)
Dimensions
4" x 15"
4.5" x 10"
Pad Attachment
Velcro
Indented Tabs
Item
Bona Microfiber Floor Mop
Picture
Bona Microfiber Floor Mop
Dimensions
4" x 15"
Pad Attachment
Velcro
More Info
Item
Sweeper Dry and Wet Floor Mopping and Cleaning Starter Kit (Update Version)
Picture
Sweeper Dry and Wet Floor Mopping and Cleaning Starter Kit (Update Version)
Dimensions
4.5" x 10"
Pad Attachment
Indented Tabs
More Info

Let’s take a quick look at these two mops side by side before we go into the features of each of them.

There are two major differences between these mops.  First is the size of the cleaning pad.  As you can see, the Bona has a bigger cleaning pad, which theoretically means less time spent cleaning!

The next is the way the pads connect.  The Bona connects with velcro, and the Swiffer has indented tabs you can press the cleaning cloth into.  We will talk more about these details soon.

Bona

This Bona mop comes with two cleaning pads, a microfiber pad and a dusting pad.  Realistically speaking, you will need more cleaning pads than this, especially if you want to clean multiple rooms at once.

You can buy more pads directly from Bona, or a third party.  The key here is the pads are attached by velcro, which means you can’t just put any old thing on the end of your Bona mop.

Either of these pads will work great on a dusty or dirty floor.  Bona also makes hardwood floor cleaner, which works really well and does not have a scent:

It is also certified asthma and allergy friendly, and really gets rid of the dust and leaves floors looking great.

I actually found this cleaner, and decided to give the Bona mop a go as well after purchasing it.  The mop does work really well, and I don’t have any other complaints other than I had to go out and buy additional pads.

How to Clean a Bona Mop Pad

Since Bona uses reusable mop pads, you will need to clean them.  I always just throw them in the washing machine on the sanitary cycle, and add a little baking soda to in addition to laundry detergent.

I often wash them things like other cleaning cloths and dish towels.

Swiffer

I think I actually have two Swiffers in my house, one I have made kid sized by removing the middle piece of the handle.

I just don’t have enough good things to say about Swiffer in general.  I have had one for ages and it has never failed me.

Of course you have the option of purchasing Swiffer pads for your Swiffer, which do come in wet and dry.  Several of each type are included with this starter kit.

Can you use Swiffer on Hardwood Floors?

Absolutely!  Swiffer pads pick up everything off of your hardwood floor with minimal effort, especially dust.

They are extremely soft, so they won’t scratch or damage the coating on your hardwood floors.

Can You use Swiffer Wet on Hardwood Floors?

If you’re looking at the Swiffer, you are probably attracted to the convince of being able to easily both use wet and dry pads.

Many people wonder if you can use Swiffer wet on hardwood floors, and the answer is yes!

Remember, the rule of cleaning a hardwood floor is you never want to soak or saturate it.  Swiffer wet pads contain cleaning solution of course to make things easier, but they aren’t wet enough to do any damage to your floor.

How to Attach Swiffer Pads (Dry or Wet)

Swiffer pads couldn’t be easier to attach to the swiller mop.  It doesn’t matter if they are dry pads or wet pads, they attach the same exact way.

See the picture of the swifter here?

Swiffer Sweeper Dry + Wet All Purpose Floor Mopping and Cleaning Starter Kit with Heavy Duty Cloths,...

The mop itself has four tabs at the top.  Simply press the Swiffer pad into each of the four tabs and you are ready to clean.

Because of the way the pads attach to the Swiffer (you gently press them into tabs on the cleaning pad) you can literally put ANYTHING on the end of the Swiffer.

I use these silver microfiber cleaning cloths for my kitchen counter, as well as on the end of my Swiffer and for just about everything.

If you do not want to use disposable Swiffer pads, you don’t even need to go out and buy anything that says it is a reusable cleaning cloth for Swiffer.  Anything will basically fit on it.

As another Swiffer hack, I also put cleaning wipes on the end of my Swiffer if something is dirty.  You could also spray cleaner on the floor and just use a cleaning cloth on the Swiffer.

The downside of the Swiffer is it does have a smaller surface area than the Bona mop, which means more time is spent cleaning.

If you already have some Bona pads, and want to use them on Swiffer too, go right ahead.  Remember, Bona pads are much longer than the Swiffer, so just fold the excess bona pads over the sides of the Swiffer and secure like you would anything else to the Swiffer.

Bona vs Swiffer: Which is Right For You?

You can’t go wrong when it comes to Bona vs Swiffer, but here are the facts:

Besides the mop, you will also need to invest in some extra cleaning pads for the Bona.  However, these cleaning pads are washable and re-usable, making the Bona a very eco friendly solution by default, right out of the gate.

If you want to cut down on consumables, Bona is the way to go.

When it comes to Swiffer, you can purchase and use disposable cleaning pads in wet or dry, which also come in scents like Lavender and Vanilla which some may like.  You can also basically shove anything you already have on the end of a Swiffer because of the way the cloths attach to it.

If you want the convenience of disposable cleaning pads, or the ability to use what you already have, Swiffer is the way to go.

How I Use Bona and Swiffer

I have both mops, and use them both!  Here is how I use each of them.

Using Bona

I use the Bona when I’m cleaning a large open area, like rooms and hallways.  I also use the Bona hardwood floor cleaning solution when needed.  I use it exclusively on my hardwood floors because of the larger cleaning area.

Your Bona Starter Kit

Here is everything you need to get started with Bona:

Bona Microfiber Floor Mop
Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner - 36oz Spray
Bona 3 Pack Microfiber Cleaning Pad
Microfiber Spray Mop Replacement Heads for Wet/Dry Mops Compatible with Bona Floor Care System (5...
Bona Microfiber Floor Mop
Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner - 36oz Spray
Bona 3 Pack Microfiber Cleaning Pad
Microfiber Spray Mop Replacement Heads for Wet/Dry Mops Compatible with Bona Floor Care System (5...
Bona Microfiber Floor Mop
Bona Microfiber Floor Mop
Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner - 36oz Spray
Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner - 36oz Spray
Bona 3 Pack Microfiber Cleaning Pad
Bona 3 Pack Microfiber Cleaning Pad
Microfiber Spray Mop Replacement Heads for Wet/Dry Mops Compatible with Bona Floor Care System (5...
Microfiber Spray Mop Replacement Heads for Wet/Dry Mops Compatible with Bona Floor Care System (5...

Using Swiffer

When it comes to cleaning a quick mess in the kitchen, or cleaning an area with lots of things to go around, I use the Swiffer because in this case, the smaller cleaning area is an asset.  I typically use cleaning cloths and cleaning wipes on the end of my Swiffer.

Your Swiffer Starter Kit

Here is everything you need to get started with Swiffer:

Sweeper Dry and Wet Floor Mopping and Cleaning Starter Kit (Update Version)
Udderly Clean Silver Embedded Cleaning Microfiber Towels Ultra Cut 12 X 12 Inches 25 Pack
Lysol Disinfecting Wipes, Lemon & Lime Blossom, Packaging May Vary, 80 Count (Pack of 4)
Swiffer Sweeper Dry Mop Refills for Floor Mopping and Cleaning, All Purpose Floor Cleaning Product,...
Sweeper Dry and Wet Floor Mopping and Cleaning Starter Kit (Update Version)
Udderly Clean Silver Embedded Cleaning Microfiber Towels Ultra Cut 12 X 12 Inches 25 Pack
Lysol Disinfecting Wipes, Lemon & Lime Blossom, Packaging May Vary, 80 Count (Pack of 4)
Swiffer Sweeper Dry Mop Refills for Floor Mopping and Cleaning, All Purpose Floor Cleaning Product,...
Sweeper Dry and Wet Floor Mopping and Cleaning Starter Kit (Update Version)
Sweeper Dry and Wet Floor Mopping and Cleaning Starter Kit (Update Version)
Udderly Clean Silver Embedded Cleaning Microfiber Towels Ultra Cut 12 X 12 Inches 25 Pack
Udderly Clean Silver Embedded Cleaning Microfiber Towels Ultra Cut 12 X 12 Inches 25 Pack
Lysol Disinfecting Wipes, Lemon & Lime Blossom, Packaging May Vary, 80 Count (Pack of 4)
Lysol Disinfecting Wipes, Lemon & Lime Blossom, Packaging May Vary, 80 Count (Pack of 4)
Swiffer Sweeper Dry Mop Refills for Floor Mopping and Cleaning, All Purpose Floor Cleaning Product,...
Swiffer Sweeper Dry Mop Refills for Floor Mopping and Cleaning, All Purpose Floor Cleaning Product,...

Remember, pretty much anything you already have the house will also fit on your Swiffer!

There is no wrong choice when it comes to Bona vs Swiffer, they just have several different features, as detailed in this guide.  Let us know which you prefer and why in the comments.