Looking at the Best Inexpensive Air Purifiers

When it comes to picking an air purifier, there are many choices out there – and they can break the bank.  Air purifiers are a great way to make your air cleaner at home and ease your breathing.

Still not sure you want an air purifier?  Be sure to learn about the Benefits of Air Purifiers!

If you are looking for an air purifier and have a budget, you have come to the right place.  We are going to take a look at the best inexpensive air purifiers.

Best Inexpensive Air Purifiers

Best Inexpensive Ionic Air Purifier Best Inexpensive Air Purifier With Essential Oil Option Best Inexpensive Square Air Purifier Best Inexpensive Round Air Purifier Best Quiet Inexpensive Air Purifier
Manufacturer hOmeLabs PARTU LEVOIT MOOKA MELEDEN
Number and Type of Filters 3, HEPA, Activated Charcoal, Ionic 3, Pre-filter, HEPA, Activated Charcoal 3, Pre-filter, HEPA, Activated Charcoal 3, Pre-filter, HEPA, Activated Charcoal 2, HEPA, Activated Charcoal
Area Covered 50 sq ft / 4.6 sq m 107 sq ft / 10 sq m 131 sq ft / 15 sq m 538 sq ft / hour / 50 sq m / hour (50 sq ft / 4.6 sq m) 107 sq ft / 10 sq m
More Information

 

As you can see by looking at the above table, there are a number of things to consider when picking an inexpensive air purifier.

The shape of the air purifier, the types of filters used in the air purifier, and the are the air purifier will cover are all important considerations.  Some air purifiers also have special features like the ability to include essential oils, or are very quiet.

Now, let’s take a look at the best affordable air purifier options for each of these categories.

Best Inexpensive Ionic Air Purifier

There are very few options available for affordable air purifiers that include the use of an ionic filter.

Ionic filters are great for killing germs and viruses.  This unit also boasts a HEPA filter, as well as an activated charcoal filter to help with odors.

It covers 50 square feet, which makes it a great option for small areas and offices.

Best Inexpensive Air Purifier With Essential Oil Option

The fantastic feature of this affordable air purifier is that you can also use essential oils with it, making your room smell wonderful.

My favorite options for essential oils are lavender for the bedroom for a nice calm environment, and lemon for everywhere else, which is a nice clean energizing scent.

At 107 square feet it is perfect for a nice relaxing bedroom environment.  If you have a dust mite allergy this is a great companion to the best bedding for dust mite allergies.

Best Inexpensive Square Air Purifier

This model is also has three filters, a pre filter for larger particles, a HEPA filter, and an activated charcoal filter.

Since some people are partial to different shapes for their decor, this is a square model that comes with a blue or black front piece.

It covers a slightly larger area than some of its counterparts, clocking in at 131 square feet.

Best Inexpensive Round Air Purifier

If round is more your thing, this is a great model that also has three filters.

The only downside is the blue light on the front does not turn off.

Mooka rated their area coverage in a slightly different way, telling us volume per hour.  After some quick calculation, it will cover 50 square feet provided the room has 10 foot ceilings.

Once again, it has three filters like many other models.

Best Quiet Inexpensive Air Purifier

If you do not want to hear your air purifier, this model is for you!

The only downside to this model is it has one less filter.  It does not have an activated charcoal filter, which is especially important if you are trying to remove scents from your environment.

If nothing smells bad around you, and you care about the sound, this is a great choice.

If you care about the carbon filter, try not to worry too much if you pick another model, air purifiers do make a low hum, but you will be used to it before you know it.

Choosing the Best Affordable Air Purifier For You

Now that we have looked at all of the models, it is time to choose the best inexpensive air purifier for your needs.

Make sure to consider the space you need to cover, as well as any extra features you may need, such as ionic germ reducing, or the ability to use essential oils.

Then think about the size of the air purifier and how it will fit in with your decor.

If you need to cover a larger area, unfortunately you will not be able to buy an inexpensive air purifier.  As the coverage area increases, so does the price.

These air purifiers are great for your office desk, and in rooms like a bedroom.

 

Picking the Best Bristle Free Grill Brush

When it comes to grill maintenance, a grill brush is an essential tool to keeping our grill grates clean.

Grill brushes come in all different shapes, sizes, and styles.  It can be confusing to find the best grill brush to fit your needs.

Need to clean your grill grates RIGHT NOW and don’t have a brush yet?  Be sure to read What Is the Best Way to Clean Grill Grates Without a Brush?

One type of grill brush that is often overlooked is a bristle free grill brush.

Do I Need a Bristle Free Grill Brush?

A bristle free grill brush is an essential tool for any griller.  Why?  There are a couple of reasons.

  • Safety.  Many grill brushes have sharp metal bristles.  These are dangerous in case you grab them by accident, drop them on your foot, or even worse, if you child gets their hands on it.
  • Cleanliness.  See point one.  Because a grill brush with metal bristles is so sharp, it is hard to clean.  This makes it very difficult to keep it sanitary, so you are basically rubbing your grill grates with dirty old food all the time.
  • Grill Grate Type.  If you use metal bristles on porcelain grill grates, you will destroy them.  You can see our complete guide to brushes for porcelain grill grates here.

After you switch to a bristle free grill brush, you won’t regret it.

More Than Just the Best Grill Brush Without Bristles

When you are looking for a safe effective way to clean your grill, do not be afraid to look beyond grill brushes.

There are a few other options to clean your grill such as:

  • Grill cleaning pads
  • Grill cleaning stones

We will also cover these in our guide!

Best Bristle Free Grill Brush

Here are my favorite bristle free grill brushes broken down by type:

Best Bristle Free Grill Brush Best Cheap Bristle Free Grill Brush With Scraper Best Cheap Bristle Free Grill Brush Best Grill Cleaning Pad Brush Best Grill Cleaning Stones
Manufacturer Kona Pit King Mountain Grillers Kingsford Elaziy
Material Stainless steel Stainless Steel Stainless Steal Replaceable Pad Pumice Stone
More Information

 

It is important to think about your budget, the type of grill grates you have, and the safety factor when you are picking your grill brush.

Also take note about what type of material it is made out of.  Stainless steel is a good choice as it is rust resistant.  You will need to clean your grill brushes with soap and water to help keep them nice and clean.

My recommendation for cleaning anything with great is always the blue Dawn dish soap.  It is very mild and really breaks down grease.

Simply soak your brushes in this solution and swish them around before rinsing them off and letting them dry.

Now let’s take a closer look at each option.

Best Bristle Free Grill Brush

All in all, this is the best bristle free grill brush around.  It is a bit pricier than some of the other options, but very durable.

The handle is also a great length, a small person like myself can reach the back of the grill without issue.

It also cleans faster than a traditional grill brush, since as you can see there is a very large surface area that the stainless steel mesh cleans at the same time.

Best Cheap Bristle Free Grill Brush With Scraper

This is another great option if you are looking for a grill brush without bristles.

It also features a scraper.  Personally, I am not a fan of scrapers because they can still pose a threat if you have kids who enjoy watching you grill.

However, this is a fantastic cost effective option, especially if you are used to the form factor of a traditional grill brush with bristles.

Best Cheap Bristle Free Grill Brush

Here is a wonderful cost effective option for your wireless grill brush.

It is very similar to the best grill brush, but at a lower price point.

While the handle does not feel as durable as the best wireless grill brush, it is still a good choice if you have a strict budget.

Best Grill Cleaning Pads

This Kingsford grill cleaning brush with replaceable pads is a great option for a traditional grill brush user due to the motion you use with it.

While there are other grill cleaning pads out there, I like this one because the handle is so long, it makes the back of the grill easier to reach.

It also includes a scraper if your grill has been dirty for quite some time.

Best Grill Cleaning Stones

Finally, the last option are grill cleaning stones.  These are great for all types of grill grates.

These are made out of pumice stone, which is a very gentle stone that breaks apart as it is used.  It is often used to remove calluses from feet.

As you use it, you will begin to see lines in it from the grill grates.  This is a good thing as it will help you get a deeper clean.

This is a great option since it is very low maintenance and does not require cleaning.

Picking the Best Grill Brush Without Bristles

When you are picking a grill brush without bristles, keep in mind the best brush may not be a brush at all!  Grill pads and grill stones as shown above are also great options.

The most important decision point for your grill brush without bristles is do you need a scraper?

Remember, never scrape porcelain enameled grates!

Personally, I can do without it, but if you are used to a traditional grill brush with bristles, you may be used to scraping.

Whatever your needs are, this guide has a grill brush without bristles for you.  E

Benefits of Air Purifiers

Air.  It is pretty much well – everywhere.  We spend our entire lives breathing in air, so why don’t we make sure we are breathing the best air possible.

One way to do this is to use an air purifier.  Let’s take a look at what an air purifier is, and why it benefits you and everyone else breathing purified air.

What Makes Indoor Air Dirty?

Besides the fact that we are breathing out germs all of the time, there are also other things that can make indoor air dirty.

According to the World Health Organization, the very simple act of cooking adds pollution to the air in our homes and we don’t even realize it!

Next, think about opening and closing doors or windows.  This allows the outside “dirty” air inside our homes.  We often think of the air inside our homes as clean, but this is simply not the case.

What is an Air Purifier?

An air purifier purifies, filters, and cleans the air we are breathing.  It does this by taking the bad things out of the air.  All air purifiers perform the same function.

First they intake dirty air.  Next they clean it, and output nice clean air that is pleasant to breathe.

Types of Air Purifiers

There are a several different types of air purifiers, and while they all serve the same function, there are some slight differences in features.

  • Filters.  We hear a lot about HEPA filters, which are supposed to be the gold standard of air filtration.  HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air, which means it takes particles out of the air in a very efficient manner.  There are many different types of filters you can find in a air purifier.
  • Ionic.  Remember The Sharper Image?  Their Ionic Breeze air purifier started the home air purifier rage.  They use electrical charge to basically attract the particles in the air.
  • UV.  Ultraviolet air purifiers rid the air of germs and viruses – they are best when used in conjunction or added on to another type of air purifier.

To read more about different types of air purifiers be sure to check out this article.  While there are other types, filters and ionic based air purifiers are a great balance between cost and function.

Remember, an air purifier needs to be cleaned or maintained like any other device in your home.  If you have a very bad dust allergy, you may want to ask someone else to do the cleaning for you.  If not, be sure to wear a mask and gloves, and wash your hands right after you finish cleaning your air purifier.

If you choose an air purifier with filters, the filters will need to be washed or changed.  Ionic air purifiers will have to be cleaned with a soft cloth.

Benefits of Air Purifiers

We talked a little bit about what air purifiers do – they remove things we don’t want from the air.  We also know we have to take care of them, so why would we want to add that extra maintenance burden to our lives?

Air purifiers and air filters help us in a number of main ways.

Air purifiers remove household allergens like pet dander, dust, and pollen that comes in from open windows and doors.

Air purifiers are great for people with allergies.

Air purifiers remove particles in the air from indoor air pollution sources like cooking.

Air purifiers can remove cooking smells from the air!

When equipped with a UV light, air purifiers will kill things like germs and viruses.

This helps us stay healthy, and not get sick!

Of course, air purifiers can be an investment depending on what your requirements are.  Now that we have talked about these benefits, let’s take a look at how they translate to particular rooms.

Benefits of Air Purifier in Bedroom

We spend so much time sleeping.  If you are an allergy sufferer, an air purifier in your bedroom is a must have, since we spend so much of our lives sleeping.

Have a dust mite allergy?  Check out our guide to allergy friendly bedding to help you sleep better.

They are also great to make sure your bedroom stays smelling nice and fresh, no matter what is going on in your house from pets to cooking.

Benefits of Air Purifier in Office

Next to our bedroom, we spent a lot of time in the office.  Once again, if you suffer from environmental allergies like dust, this will help you feel much better.

Dust can be a major factor depending on how often your office is cleaned, and of course doors and windows let pollen in.

It also helps when someone burns popcorn!

Benefits of Air Purifiers in the Home

Besides your bedroom, the benefits of air purifiers can be seen wherever you spend a good amount of time.  Think about putting an air purifier in your living room or family room if you are trying to decide where to make the investment.

There are many benefits to a room air purifier, no matter where you place it.  If you suffer from seasonal or environmental allergies, the benefits of an air purifier will be seen immediately when you add one to your home or office.

 

What Is the Best Way to Clean Grill Grates Without a Brush?

Picture this.  You are about to host a BBQ, but your grill grates are disgusting, and you don’t have a grill brush.

Or, you just got your brand new grill and forgot to pick up a brush to go with it!

Neither situation is good, but let’s face it it happens.  We forget things all the time, or our grill brush is worn out, lost, or eaten by the dog.

Never fear, where there is a will, there is a way!

 Best Way to Clean Grill Grates Without a Brush

The best way to clean your grill grates without a brush will come down to what you have on hand.  Let’s take a look at a couple of options.

Nothing But Elbow Grease – The Best Way to Clean All Grill Grates

Without a grill brush, you are going to have to use some elbow grease.  Get ready to scrub down those grill grates!

You can do a good number on your grill grates with just plain water, and something to scrub them with.

The most important thing is to know what your grill grates are made out of.

If your grill grates are made out of porcelain, do not use anything too abrasive on them or scrape them.

Some things you can scrub your grill grates with are:

  • Paper Towels
  • A Sponge
  • Steel wool
  • Rags

Simply fill up a bin or your kitchen sink and go to town.  For really bad grates, you may want to add a tiny bit of liquid dish soap.

While we are on the topic of dish soap – there is only one kind I ever buy.

Blue Dawn.  The kind with the animals on it.

It has to be the one with the animals on it!

This is what they use to clean the poor animals that get covered in oil during an oil spill.

It works on everything.  I’m notorious for getting grease on my clothes while cooking.  I put a few drops of this on immediately, throw it in the washer, and my clothes are saved.

It is powerful, yet gentile, and perfect for getting caked on grease off of your grill grates.

If you do use soap, remember to rinse them thoroughly.  You can even send them through the dish washer on a rinse cycle without soap to ensure they are squeaky clean.

If your grill grates are made out of cast iron, do not forget to season them after cleaning, or they may rust.

A Dry Sponge

If you aren’t looking to do a crazy cleaning of your grill grates, but just get off some caked on food, a dry sponge works wonders.

No joke.  I do this on a cold grill all the time.  A dry sponge is hard enough to get the stuck debris off, but soft enough that it won’t damage your grill grates if they are made out of porcelain.

Plus, if your grill is cold, it is much easier to put a little elbow grease into it, since you do not have to worry about getting burned.

The Best Grill Grate Cleaner

If your grill grates are beyond some elbow grease and mild detergent, you may need specific cleaner designed for grill grates.

When you are looking for the best grill grate cleaner there are a couple of things to remember:

  • While you will of course rinse your grill grates after cleaning them, you are cleaning a surface you cook with.  Avoid harsh chemicals.
  • Be sure to try the Nothing But Elbow Grease Method before advancing to grill cleaner.
  • Are you sure your grates are cleanable?  If they are cast iron and full of rust, it is time for a new set of grill grates.  You can learn more about the different type of grill grate materials here.

I have two go to products that I have used when my grill gates were a especially dirty.

Weber Grill Grate Cleaner

I have been a Weber Genesis owner for a number of years now, and always swear by Weber products.

Weber’s grill cleaner is no exception.  I bought it when I bought my grill, and have been sure to keep it clean with this.

For some strange reason, there are no reviews on this 2 pack version on Amazon, but you can read reviews on the 1 and 3 pack versions here.

Are the reviews mixed?  As with anything they are, but it seems like most people wait until their grill is almost unusable before they clean it, which makes for a more difficult cleaning exercise.

Citrusafe Grill Cleaning Spray

This cleaner looked interesting, so I bought a bottle on a whim.  I have used other Citrusafe products in the past mostly because they smell nice and citrusy.

Once again, reviews are mixed probably because people neglect their grills for way too long.

I found this spray did the job without issue, and my grates were shiny in no time.

How to Use the Best Cleaner for Grill Grates

When using a grill cleaner, I usually cut open a brown paper bag, spread it out on my deck, place down the grates and spray them.

This way I am not bringing the mess inside, and I can easily clean up when I’m done.

Even better, I hose the grates off after I am done with using the grill cleaning spray on them.

I usually use paper towels, a rag, or a sponge on the grill grates.

The trick is letting them sit for a few minutes after you spray them.

The Ultimate Best Cleaner for Grill Grates

Believe it or not, the best cleaner for grill grates is to not let them get too horribly dirty in the first place.

My Weber Genesis was so neglected earlier this year, I literally just took a hose to it.  Don’t me be!  Regular maintenance for your grill is your best defense.

Here are some easy and practical tips for keeping your grill clean:

  • Keep your grill covered when not in use.  This way you won’t have to clean off things like pollen and bird poop!
  • Wipe down the exterior at the first sign of dirt.  I usually just use Lysol Wipes.
  • Before you turn off your grill, brush the grates.
  • Every few uses, crank your grill on high for five to 10 minutes, then brush the grates after.
  • Don’t forget to empty the drip pan, and scrape off the inside every once in a while.

Keeping your grill clean is much easier if you stay on top of it!  Be sure to leave your grill care tips in the comments!

Presents for Cooking Lovers – Ultimate 2019 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!

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.

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.

 

Best Cheap Presents for Someone Who Cooks

These cost effective presents for someone who cooks are incredibly useful, but won’t break the bank.

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 Avance XL Air Fryer

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.

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.

 

Gifts for the Culinary Enthusiast

When it comes to picking the right gifts for a culinary enthusiast, there are endless possibilities.

I mean, who doesn’t love to eat great food?  I know I do.  Cooking great food?  Even better!

Culinary enthusiasts come in all shapes and sizes, and there is no best single gift for any of them.

This guide will help you find the best culinary gift ideas for everyone on your shopping list.

Best Culinary Gifts in 2019

Culinary enthusiasts come in all shapes and sizes.  There are people who love to cook, people who love to eat, and people that are in between these two categories.

There are also people just learning and starting to cook – good for them!

Either way, let’s find them the perfect gift.

Culinary Gifts for Anyone

These culinary gifts are perfect for anyone, whether they are eaters, chefs, or just getting started cooking.  You can’t go wrong with anything from this list.

They are all useful items that will help daily in the kitchen, whether you are cooking, eating, or cleaning!

reZip Reusable Bags

These reusable food storage bags are a perfect gift for any culinary enthusiast.

We use these for both snacks and leftovers.

They are super easy to wash and dry, and pay for themselves in no time at all.

Cuisinart Bamboo Dish Towel Set of 2

These dish towels come in an array of colors, so there is something that will match your gift recipients decor.

Dish towels are also something that can be fun to add a pop of color to things.

They are soft, absorbent, and naturally resistant to things like bacteria and microbes since they are made of bamboo.

These bamboo dish towels are a must for each and every kitchen.  They also help cut down on the use of paper towels and save money!

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Sponge Holder

Whether you are cooking or eating, the dishes still need to be done!

This handy accessory helps keep your counter top dry, and your sponge out of the sink.

Is there anything worse than the smell of a sponge you left in a sink full of dishes?

The stainless steel will also match each and every kitchen decor.

Subscription to Food Network Magazine

 I subscribe to many food and cooking magazines, and Food Network has always been one of my favorites.

From recipes, to product reviews, to interviews, to where to eat – Food Network Magazine has something for everyone, and is a great way to expand your culinary horizons.

Culinary Gifts for People Who Love to Eat

Now let’s take a look at culinary gifts for your friends and family who love to eat!

The Original Zoodle Slicer

If you love to eat, you know what a struggle it can be to stay healthy sometimes.  The Original Zoodle Slicer is a great way to switch things around and make some swaps for veggies.

Besides spaghetti like zoodles, the Zoodle Slicer can also make veggies into ribbons, which are great to add a new dimension to a dish.

Foodie Fight Revised: A Trivia Game for Serious Food Lovers

 This game is a blast for your favorite food lover.

It is designed for 2-6 players, and tests your food lover’s knowledge on a ton of topics from food science to their favorite chefs.

This is a must have for any gathering that includes food.

Culinary Gifts for People Who Love to Cook

Are you shopping for someone who loves to cook?  They are not easy to shop for since they already have so many things, but don’t worry, I found something for them!

Magnolia Table Cookbook

 If you are looking for a gift for someone who likes to cook, the Magnolia Table cookbook is a sure winner.

It has all of Joanna Gaines’ favorite recipes, including those featured at Magnolia Table.

All of her recipes are also super adaptable for special diets and easy to make gluten free and dairy free – I’ve done it!

 

EurKitchen Butane Culinary Kitchen Torch

A kitchen torch is something that every home cook should have, but is the absolute last thing we buy ourselves.

It is great for making creme brûlée (or sweet potato brûlée at my house since we are dairy free), and giving vegetables a nice char.

I also used this little guy to light my charcoal grill when I was in a bind with no issues.

This is a great gift for someone who loves to cook!

Culinary Gifts for People Who Are Just Learning to Cook

Here are a couple of tried and true gifts for those who are just learning how to cook.

Instant Pot Gift for Learning to Cook

When it comes to finding the best cooking gift for someone who is just getting started there is one gift you can’t go wrong with: an Instant Pot.

I was one of the early adopters of the Instant Pot.  It is an electric pressure cooker.  Anything you can make in a slow cooker you can make in an Instant Pot in a fraction of the time.

The instant pot comes in 3 sizes: 3 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart.

I have them all.  The best gift for most people will be a 6 quart Instant Pot.

Here are two options.  The 10-in-one and the 6-in-1.

As you can see, I have made sure to include the price on these to make your decision easier.  Now, let’s talk about the difference between the two.

10-in-1 vs 7-in-1 Instant Pot

Truth be told, I never use any function on my instant pot other than sauté and pressure cook.  Both options include those functions.

The 10-in-1 includes functions that the 7-in-1 does not.

They are:

  • Cake/Egg Maker
  • Sterilize
  • Ultra

The Cake/Egg Maker and Sterilize functions can both be done manually, but if the touch of a button is important for your gift recipient, you may want to think about the 10-in-1.

The Ultra function allows you to program your Instant Pot for specific functions.  It is an interesting function, but again, most things can be done manually.

The one thing the 10-in-1 has that the 7-in-1 does not is a different button to release the steam.  This can be tricky if you are new to Instant Pot, and some people are just plain nervous about releasing the pressure.

If your gift recipient has expressed concern over this, the 10-in-1 is the choice for you.  It will also make sure you do not accidentally forget to close the steam release.

Instant Pot Tip: To release the steam on the 7-in-1 or another Instant Pot model, just use a wooden spoon or other long utensil to turn the steam release valve, this way your hand does not get caught in the way!

Every Instant Pot owner has accidentally steamed their hand at one point or another, and it is not pleasant.

GORILLA GRIP Original Reversible Cutting Board (3-Piece)

This is a must have for anyone just starting out, and comes in a huge array of colors.

I blow through cutting boards when I cook, especially when a meal has many components.  My favorite feature of these boards is the well around the edges that catch liquids.

You aren’t going to cut veggies on that board right after you cut chicken, are you?  Of course not.  Help your new chef along the way with this easy to use and clean 3 piece cutting board set.

The Ultimate Gifts for the Culinary Enthusiast

This is your ultimate gift guide for the culinary enthusiast!  It has something for everyone on your list, from your eaters, to your chefs, to your friends and family just getting started in the kitchen.

The Best Kitchen Shears for Cutting Chicken

Who else hates dealing with raw chicken?  I know when I am cutting up a whole chicken or chicken parts, I want it done as quick as possible.

One thing that can’t be denied is that buying a whole chicken is ofter cheaper than buying it pre cut.  Whether you are butterflying it or cutting it into pieces, a good pair of kitchen shears are  must.

Best Kitchen Shears for Cutting Chicken

When it comes for picking the best kitchen shears for cutting chicken, there are a couple of things to think about:

  • Kitchen shear durability.  Flimsy kitchen shears just aren’t going to do it.
  • Kitchen shear material.  I run mine through the dishwasher on sanitize after using them, so I prefer something that is made out of material that is high temperature safe.
  • Kitchen shear style.  Of course, if you are storing your kitchen shears someplace where they can be seen, you want to make sure they look nice.
  • Kitchen shear ease of use.  I am not a very strong person, so it is important that kitchen shears are easy to use, especially for cutting poultry.

Here are some of my favorite kitchen shears.

Best Cheap Kitchen Shears Best Come Apart Kitchen Shears Best Spring Loaded Kitchen Shears
Manufacturer KitchenAid Gerior Gerior
Come apart to clean? No Yes Yes
More Information

 

Best Cheap Kitchen Shears for Everything

These KitchenAid KC351OHGSA Multi-Purpose Scissors just can’t be beat, and they are great for everything, even cutting chicken.

They come in array of colors, and can be put in the dishwasher.  I have had my pair for years at this point.

The only downside is over time, the plastic handles tend to get nicked, but they still work fine.

Best Come Apart Kitchen Shears for Messy Kitchen Tasks

These Kitchen Shears Come-Apart by Gerior are awesome because they come apart!  This makes them super easy to clean by hand or in the dishwasher.

If you haven’t heard of Gerior before, they are a very well known German brand with a great reputation that focuses on shears and knives.

Gerior products also come with a lifetime replacement guarantee!

Best Spring Loaded Kitchen Shears for Cutting Chicken

 If you aren’t the strongest person (like me), these spring loaded kitchen shears make cutting chicken a breeze – even cutting out the backbone to butterfly it!

Also by Gerior, these spring loaded kitchen shears come with a lifetime warranty.

Like their counterpart, these spring loaded kitchen shears some apart for easy cleaning.

Picking the Best Kitchen Shears for Cutting Chicken

The best shears depend on your budget and your strength.  If you are on a strict budget, then the KitchenAid shears are your best bet.

If you need a little help like me, then the Gerior spring loaded kitchen shears are the right ones for you.

If you’re strong enough and have the budget, then the Gerior take apart shears are the best all around shears for everything.

How to Cut a Chicken

Do you need some help learning how to cut chicken?  Here are some great videos on YouTube:

Food Safety Tips for Cutting Chicken

Whenever you are handling raw food, it is important to make sure you are following proper food safety protocols.  Especially with chicken.

Be sure to check out some food safety tips for cutting chicken from the National Poultry Council.

Here are some of the things I do when handling chicken:

  • Wash my hands with soap and hot water before and after handling chicken
  • Use a cutting board for the chicken, which I then wash and run through the dishwasher on a sanitize cycle
  • Always wipe down the work area (even though I used a cutting board) with Lysol Wipes.
  • Never touch anything else in the kitchen after I have touched raw chicken until I have washed my hands.

Do you have any other tips for handling raw chicken?  Be sure to leave them in the comments!

Finding the Best Bedding for Warm Sleepers

Is it summer?  Do you live in a hot or warm climate?  Or do you just plain sweat while you are sleeping?  Either way, this guide is for you!

We are going to take a look at the best bedding for warm sleepers.

We spend so much time in our bed that it is worth it to make sure we are comfortable.

There are all different types of sheets out there for summer or for warm sleepers.

The three most common materials the best sheets for warm sleepers are made out of are:

  • Cotton
  • Bamboo
  • Microfiber (Often Polyester)

If you are searching for the best bedding for hot climates, these materials should be your go to solution.

Best Bedding for Warm Sleepers

Now, let’s take a look at some of the best bedding for warm sleepers by material.

This table also notes some of the size and color options for each bedding set.

Best Cotton Bedding for Warm Sleepers Best Cheap Cotton Bedding for Warm Sleepers Best Bamboo Bedding for Warm Sleepers Best Cheap Bamboo Bedding for Warm Sleepers Best Microfiber Bedding for Warm Sleepers Best Cheap Microfiber Bedding for Warm Sleepers
Item Name True Luxury 1000-Thread-Count 100% Egyptian Cotton Bed Sheets California Design Den 400-Thread-Count 100% Cotton Sheets Cariloha Classic Bamboo Sheets Cosy House Collection Luxury Bamboo Bed Sheet Set SHEEX Original Performance Sheet Set HOMEIDEAS Bed Sheets Set
Color Options Many Many including patterns Few (Mostly Neutral) Many Many with a neutral trend Many
Size Options Queen/King/California King Twin/Twin XL/Full/Queen/RV Short Queen/King/California King Twin/Twin XL/Full/Queen/King/California King Twin/Twin XL/Full/Queen/King/California King/King/Split King Twin/Twin XL/Full/Queen/King/California King/Split King Twin/Twin XL/Full/Queen/King/California King
More Information

 

Best Cotton Bedding for Warm Sleepers

 

This bedding is made out of Egyptian cotton, which is the best kind of cotton there is.  At 1000 thread count, it feels soft and luxurious, but the price also reflects this.

This bedding comes in an array of colors and and sizes.

Best Cheap Cotton Bedding for Warm Sleepers

This cotton bedding set not only comes in a number of colors and sizes, but also has several patterns available.

It is 400 thread count, so it is still very soft and luxurious – but has the benefit of being lighter weight than some higher thread count  options making it a great choice for summer sleepers.

Best Bamboo Bedding for Warm Sleepers

The best bamboo bedding for warm sleepers is this set by Cariloha.

Cariloha is one of the premier manufactures of bamboo textile products.

In addition to sheet sets, they also make both men’s and women’s clothings.

Their bedding prices are higher than many of their counterparts, but they stand by their products and are known for quality.

Best Cheap Bamboo Bedding for Hot Climates

If you are looking for Bamboo sheets with a lower price point, these sheets by Cosy House are a great option.

The only downside is it is a three piece set, meaning it comes with a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, and just a single pillow case.

Best Microfiber Bedding for Warm Sleepers

Sheex performance sheets have been around for a very long time, and with good reason.

If you love the feel of your moisture wicking athletic wear, these sheets are for you, and feel just like it.

Sheex also has additional bedding and a line of perforce sleepwear.

Best Cheap Microfiber Bedding for Hot Climates

You can’t beat the low low price of this microfiber bedding set.

You would think the price is almost too low, but the feedback is great on them.

At this price point, you can afford to have multiple sets of summer sheets for every member of your household.

Remember, microfiber is a man made synthetic option, so it is not as eco friendly as cotton or bamboo.

Picking the Best Bedding for Warm Sleepers

If you are a warm sleeper looking to cool down, there are a couple important things to think about.

First of all is cost.  What is your budget for summer sheets?  Of course, you can continue to use all of these recommendations all year round.

Second is color preference.  Are you looking for sheets in a certain color?

Finally, is how eco friendly you are looking to be.  Cotton and Bamboo are both sustainable options, with Bamboo being the most eco friendly.  Microfiber is man made.

If you feel like a splurge, you cannot go wrong with the Cariloha Classic Bamboo Sheets.  These are truly thee best bamboo sheets for summer or warm sleepers.

If you are trying to be the most cost effective, then the HOMEIDEAS Microfiber Sheet Set simply cannot be beat.

Finally, if you are looking for a balance of cost effectiveness and sustainability, the Cozy House Collection Bamboo Sheets are your best bet.

 

What is the Best Material for Bedding in the Summer?

Summer.  Either love it or hate it, it will come once a year.  While I don’t hate Summer, I dread the heat.  I am one of those people who is always hot, and I am even hotter in the summer.

When you think about it, if you sleep 8 hours a night, you are spending 1/3 of your time in your bed.  That is why it is important to keep your bedding clean and fresh, and pick the proper bedding for each season.

If you live in a warm climate all year round, you have still come to the right place.

Now, let’s take a closer look at bedding material, and which ones are the best for the Summer and other warm or hot climates.

What is the Best Material for Bedding in Summer?

Several years ago, I went on a quest to find the best material for bedding in Summer.

Why?  Simple.  I was sick of being hot all of the time, and waking up to soaked bed sheets.

When we think about the best material for bedding, it is important to really take a look at a number of factors such as:

  • Comfort
  • Weight
  • Feel
  • Cost

Of course, first and foremost, we want our sheets to be comfortable to sleep in.

In the Summer, we don’t want them to be too heavy feeling.

While we are talking about feel, we want them to feel nice on our skin – not scratchy!

Finally, is of course cost.  It is very helpful to have multiple sets of sheets, so you do not have to worry about washing them, drying them, and putting them back on your bed in the same day.

Finding the Best Bedding for Summer

The best bedding for summer starts with the material, so let’s take a look at some common bedding materials, and the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Cotton Bedding for Summer

Cotton is one of the most common types of bedding all year round, not just in the Summer.  With Cotton, you really can’t go wrong, however there are a couple of caveats.

First of all, we want our cotton to feel nice.  You will commonly see something called thread count when you are looking at sheets.

Thread count is the number of both horizontal and vertical threads per square inch, according to HGTV.

Generally speaking, the higher the thread count, the nicer the bedding feels.  Higher thread counts also have a couple of drawbacks:

  • Higher thread counts are more expensive, since it takes more cotton to produce the bedding
  • Higher thread counts can also be heavier

There are also many types of cotton out there, so it is important to pay attention to which one your sheets are made out of.

A popular cotton sheet option is Jersey Knit.  It feels like a nice soft t-shirt, and is produced the same way.  It is also nice and light, and very cost effective due to the way it is produced.  You do not need to pay as much attention to the thread count in this case.

Another cotton sheet option is Egyptian cotton.  This is the gold standard in cotton, and the higher the thread count the nicer it feels.  The cost also reflects this.

Cotton is a very popular option for bedding.  Be sure to pay attention to the type of cotton the bedding is made out of, as well as the thread count.

Bamboo Sheets for Summer

Bamboo sheets have become increasingly popular in recent years.  Bamboo is a very eco friendly material, as it naturally replenishes itself and does not take much water to grow.

It is also naturally resistant to nasty things like bacteria and microbes, and is generally a softer material than cotton.

Because it is so eco friendly, and naturally soft, you can purchase a lower thread count with a Bamboo sheet than a cotton one, and still maintain a great level of comfort.

Because of bamboo’s natural ability to absorb water, it will wick the moisture away from your body on those hot nights, leaving you feeling cool and fresh.

All in all bamboo is a great material.

Bamboo is a great eco friendly choice for bedding, but like cotton can come in a number of thread counts and price points.

Microfiber Sheets for Summer

Unlike its cotton and bamboo counterparts, microfiber is a man made material, usually made from polyester.  Because it is man made, it can be manufactured in a number of different ways to create a different end product.

Because the threads are so fine, it is all about how they are woven together.  They can be soft to the tough, or rougher to the touch.

Microfiber can also be manufactured to wick away moisture, and since it is a synthetic fiber, dust mites are generally not attracted to it, making it a great choice for allergy sufferers.

They often wear better than their natural counterparts, and microfiber items can be washed over and over again with little visible aging.

Microfiber is a great, economical choice for summer sheets, however it is not a natural material.

Picking the Best Bedding for Summer

Each of these materials has its own number of unique attributes.  They all come in a variety of costs and qualities, like any other bedding you purchase.

It is important to balance what you are looking for quality wise with your budget.

All around, Bamboo is an excellent choice for sheets for summer.  It is eco friendly, and will naturally wick away moisture.

If you are seeking a natural alternative, the next best choice would be cotton sheets.  If you do not mind man made materials, then microfiber is the next best choice for your summer bedding.

Why Should You Air Dry Clothes?

A clothes drying rack is an essential tool for any home.  I have had several, and they have each had their benefits and drawbacks.  I do have a gas clothes dryer, but a clothes drying rack is still an essential companion.

In this article, I want to talk about how to find the best clothes drying rack for your needs.  Still not convinced you need one?  Read on to find out why I swear by my clothes drying rack.

Why Air Dry Clothes?

If you have a dryer, you may be wondering “Why air dry clothes, anyway?”  I’m sure you have been burned (see what I did there?) by your clothes dryer before in a number of ways.  I have shrunken nice sweaters, damaged delicate materials, and stretched out clothes because of the ways I have washed them in the past.

All of these problems could have been solved by a clothes drying rack.  Let’s take a look at the pitfalls of the modern clothes dryer.

The Shrunken Sweater

If your sweater managed to survive the wash cycle, it may perish in the drying cycle.  Wool sweaters and wool sweater blends are notorious for both stretching in the wash and shrinking in the dryer.

By avoiding the dryer all together for your sweaters, you have the opportunity to   fix some of these common issues.

Tip: If you have a misshapen sweater, don’t put it in the dryer!  Stretch and bend it back into shape, then lay it flat to air dry on a clothes drying rack.

Damaged Delicates

Some fabrics, such as delicate lace (think underwear!) and fabrics with plastic appliqués in them will be damaged by the dryer even on your lowest setting.

While we are talking about underwear, Ladies, did you know according to Soma, one of the leading bra and underwear retailers you shouldn’t put your bras in the dryer?

Yet another great reason to have a clothes drying rack!

Avoid Stretched Out Clothes

I’ve noticed that sometimes clothing with elastic in it stretches out over time, or something gets knotted up in the dryer and stretches out.

Air drying clothes avoids both of these common pitfalls.

Air Dry Baby Clothes

Baby clothes are a necessary evil.  Your baby has to wear something!  Unfortunately, many baby clothes shrink and you get even less use out of them than you originally intended.

If you air dry baby clothes, you will get a couple more wears out of them before your baby outgrows them!  This is especially true of baby PJs.

Air Drying Clothes Benefits

There are other benefits to air drying your clothes, besides avoiding clothing damage.

  • Less energy usage.  Whether you have a gas or electric clothes dryer, running your dryer uses energy and increases your utility bills.
  • You won’t heat up your home.  While a dryer can provide some toasty warmth in the winter, it is a pain in the summer!  My laundry room has a door, but still feels like a sauna in the summer.  I didn’t have a door in my previous house, and the whole second floor heated up when I used the dryer!

Air drying your clothes is both more cost effective and environmentally friendly, and you won’t ruin your clothes!

Other Uses for Clothes Drying Racks

Besides air drying the clothes you have washed, here are some other great practical uses for clothes drying racks.

  • Hang bathing suits and towels to dry.  Where else are you going to put them after running through the sprinkler.
  • Hang clothes to air them out.  Many stores these days are pumping their clothes full of perfumes and scents.  If an article of clothing smells too much to wear it, simply air it out on a clothes drying rack for a couple of days.
  • Hang other wet clothes.  Giving fido or the baby a bath?  Chances are you are going to be wearing the bath water!  Hanging your clothes on a clothes drying rack is a much better solution than letting them collect mold in a ball forgotten someplace.

Picking the Best Clothes Drying Rack

Here are some things to think about when trying to find the best clothes drying rack:

  • Where are you going to use your clothes drying rack?  Do you have a dedicated space for it such as a laundry room, or will it be in your living room?
  • Where will you store the rack when you are not using it?  Does it need to be folded and put away?  Or can you leave it out someplace?
  • Who will be using the clothes drying rack?  Pay special attention to how much it weighs.

These are all important considerations when picking a clothes drying rack.  If it is going to be in a living area, we will want to make sure it is aesthetically pleasing and blends in with our decor.

If you are going to be putting a clothes drying rack in your main living space, there are lots of ways to be creative.

My personal favorite is using a coat rack as a clothes drying rack or coat hooks.  It blends in with your surroundings if you pick the right one.  I use my coat rack and hooks for drying things like hoodies.