Evaluating the Best Electric Griddles for Pancakes

Pancakes are one of the best breakfast foods in the world.  Besides the fact that you can put anything in them or on them, they also reheat well for later meals.

The only downside is a big batch of pancakes can take forever to cook in a regular pan.  If you are serious about pancakes like we are, it may be time to think about an electric griddle.

Electric Griddle for Pancakes and More!

The benefit of having an electric griddle for pancakes is a pure volume and time play.  It provides a much larger cooking area than a traditional pan on the stove, and also leaves stove burners free for other items like bacon, sausage, or eggs.

Of course, you can use an electric griddle for more than just pancakes!  Those sausage, bacon, and eggs we just talked about?  You can make those on an electric griddle too.  Not to mention things like hamburgers, sausage, peppers, and onions, and pretty much anything you can imagine.

Best Electric Griddles for Pancakes

We are going to take a look at the best electric griddles for pancakes and more, then talk about how you can pick the best one for your needs.

Best Ceramic Electric Griddle with Grease Tray Best Electric Griddle for Pancakes and More Best Safe Electric Griddle for Pancakes Best Electric Griddle for Pancakes Best Ceramic Electric Griddle for Pancakes
Manufacturer Hamilton Beach Presto Presto Presto Presto
Material Ceramic Nonstick Nonstick Nonstick Ceramic
Size 200 sq in 277 sq in 210 sq in 286 sq in 286 sq in
More Information


Best Ceramic Electric Griddle with Grease Tray

If you are looking to do more with your electric griddle than just make pancakes, this should be a serious contender.

It has a convenient drip tray that will catch the run off of things like sausage and hamburgers, and a very very slight tilt to make sure your food doesn’t sit in grease while cooking

It also has a ceramic cooktop vs a nonstick one, which is a major plus for me.

Best Electric Griddle for Pancakes and More

While we are talking about doing more with your electric griddle, here is another great contender that has the ability to drain grease.

The Hamilton Beach model we just looked at clocks in at 200 square inches, while this one features 277 square inches of cooking space.

While it has a nonstick surface, this is a great option if the previous model is just too small to suit your needs.

Best Safe Electric Griddle for Pancakes

Now that we have looked at a few electric griddles, I am sure you have noticed something they all have in common.

They get hot.  Really hot, and they have metal edges.

That means it can be easy to burn yourself the first couple times you are using it, or if you are just disaster prone like me.

The safe electric griddle has cool sides to save your arms from being burned.  A major consideration!

Best Electric Griddle for Pancakes

If you are looking for the best all around electric griddle for pancakes, this Presto 22 inch electric griddle is for you.

A nice flat surface with 286 square inches of cooking area allows you to supply endless pancakes!

Beneath the nonstick surface is cast iron and aluminum for great heat distribution to give you golden brown pancakes every time.

Best Ceramic Electric Griddle for Pancakes

 Does the model we just talk about sound great except for the nonstick surface?

I agree.  So does Presto, which is why this model exists.  It has the same large cooking area and cast iron aluminum base, but a ceramic coating instead of a nonstick one.

What’s With Presto?

As you may have noticed, most of these griddles are made by Presto.  If you have not heard of Presto before, I am sure you are not alone, however, they have been around for quite sometime (founded in 1905).  Chances are you may have owned one of their precuts at some point but probably did not realize it.

Picking the Best Electric Griddles for Pancakes

When it comes to picking the best electric griddle for yourself, you need to ask a few things:

  • Will you cook more than pancakes?
  • What kind of coating do you want?

The coating material (nonstick or ceramic) is noted in the comparison chart.  There are several options for each.

  • Are you prone to kitchen accidents?

The Presto Cool Touch griddle is the best choice for you, though the Presto Tilt ‘n Drain Griddle also has a barrier around the cooking surface if you want to make more than pancakes.

  • How much cooking area do you need?

The cooking area in square inches is noted in the comparison chart to guide you.

These considerations will help you pick the best electric griddles for pancakes, no matter what you are looking for.  Enjoy!

The Best Storage Containers for Flour

When it comes to cooking and baking, flour is always an essential ingredient.  Unfortunately most flours come in boxes and bags that make storage difficult, and can get messy when you are pouring it to measure the flour out.  Finding the best storage containers for flour can also be a difficult task.

If you use specialty flours, you may also need smaller containers to keep everything neat, organized, and easy to access.

Some containers don’t have lids that fit right, and others are a pain to open.  Glass is a great choice, unless you have small children.  There are many things to consider when picking the best storage container for flour.

Luckily, I’ve been through this process, and have some ideas for you!

Best Storage Containers for Flour

Best Storage Container for Flour Best Easy to Clean Storage Container for Flour Best Glass Containers for Flour Storage Best Canister Style Flour Storage Container Set Best Inexpensive Storage Container for Flour Set
Manufacturer OXO Rubbermaid Essos Bellemain Vtopmart
Material BPA Free Plastic BPA Free Plastic Glass BPA Free Plastic BPA Free Plastic
Size 16 Cup 16 Cup 6.5 Cup 8 Cup, 6 Cup, 3.25 Cup, 2.75 Cup 2x 3.3 Qt, 2x 1.5 Qt
More Information

Best Storage Container for Flour

This OXO container is my all around favorite for storing flour and other dry items.  This container also comes in a number of sizes, as you can see on the product page, and with stainless steel tops if the white is not for you.

These have an extremely air tight seal, making them a great choice for herbs and spices as well.

The only downside is that awesome top is a bit difficult to clean, and requires some disassembly for it to dry properly.

Best Easy to Clean Storage Container for Flour

This is another great contianer for flour that has a nice tight seal.  It also comes in a variety of sizes as you can see here, so you can find more containers to suit your storage needs.

The benefit to this one over the OXO container is that it is very simple to clean.  The top is air tight, but does not require any magic or disassembly to get it to dry properly.

Best Glass Containers for Flour Storage

Best Glass Storage Containers for Flour – View at Amazon

While all of the plastic options in this review are of course BPA free, some people just prefer glass.

This is a great choice if you don’t have to worry about small hands getting into your flour and knocking your containers over.

Like the other options, this comes in a variety of sizes so you can make all of your storage containers match.

Best Canister Style Flour Storage Container Set

If you like the looks of canisters, this four piece set is a great value and a great way to store flour and other dry goods.

The seal is of course air tight, so everything will stay fresh.

This four piece set is well coordinated to suit your baking needs, and is so reasonably priced you can buy two sets to store everything you need.

Best Inexpensive Storage Containers for Flour – Set

If you are looking for value, this six piece set from Vtopmart is your winner.

The lids are air tight and snap into place, and it also comes with labels and a marker so you don’t mix your dry ingredients up!

They are also easy to clean, and of course BPA Free.  They may not look as nice as some of the other options presented, but they get the job done.


Picking the Best Storage Containers for Flour

Now that we have reviewed several options, it is time to pick the best storage containers for flour.

The most important things to think about are:

  • Material
  • Price
  • How many and what types of things you want to store beyond flour

Whether you choose to buy a set now, or your containers one by one, all of the presented options are available in multiple sizes.

All in all, my favorite is the OXO Storage Container, which is also available with a stainless steel top.  I have a number of these that I use on a regular basis.


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 you can buy the guy you know who loves to cook.  While I called this list cooking presents for him since these all have been tested on my husband, they can apply to anyone!

Cooking Presents for Him

Here is the ultimate list of cool, unique, and useful cooking presents for him.  There is nothing on this list he won’t use!

Cosmos Kitchen Knife Set

This defiantly 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.



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!

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 Cooking Presents for Him

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!

Finding the Best Waffle Maker with Removable Plates

You may think a waffle maker is a single use item, but the truth is it can be used for more than just traditional breakfast waffles.

Hash brows, cinnamon rolls, leftover stuffing from Thanksgiving, you name it, you can put it in a waffle maker.

The trick when you are learning how to use a waffle maker for more than just waffles is learning the proper temperature so the food will not stick to the waffle maker.

Believe me, the first time I tried to make hash browns in a waffle maker was a disaster.  I spent hours trying to clean the plates of my waffle maker, and it was never the same again.

That’s why when it was time to get a new waffle maker, I got one with removable plates.

Removable plates make your waffle maker easy to clean.  This is important for general kitchen cleanliness, but also if someone in your home has food sensitivities.

Best Waffle Maker with Removable Plates

Best Cheap Waffle Maker with Removable Plates Best Ceramic Waffle Maker with Removable Plates Best Expensive Waffle Maker with Removable Plates Best Indoor Grill with Waffle Plates Removable Waffle Plates for Best Indoor
Manufacturer Secura Hamilton Beach Cuisinart Cuisinart Cuisinart
Waffle Shape Round Round Square Square Square
More Information


There are two major things to be concerned with when picking the perfect waffle maker with removable plates.

First, is your budget.  Unfortunately, the feature of removable plates tends to come with a premium price tag compared to regular waffle makers.

Second is the shape of waffle you would like: round or square.

Now, let’s take a look at the best waffle makers with removable plates broken down into several categories.

Best Cheap Waffle Maker with Removable Plates

Cheap is a relative term here, since as we talked bout this feature of being able to remove plates comes with a premium price tag.

This is the best cheapest option available, and this Secura model comes with all the bells and whistles you would expect from a premium waffle maker.

The base also separates completely from the waffle maker for an even easier cleanup besides removing the plates.

Best Ceramic Waffle Maker with Removable Plates

I love everything about ceramic cookware.  I was excited to see this model by Hamilton Beach that had removable ceramic plates.

A number of years ago I switched over from teflon to ceramic for non stick, and have never looked back.

This waffle maker has great heat distribution and of course is super easy to clean.  It is not that much more expensive than the cheaper option, so if ceramic plates are important to you, it is worth the small uplift in cost.

Best Expensive Waffle Maker with Removable Plates

Can you ever go wrong with a Cuisinart appliance?  The answer is no!  This waffle maker is a great option that makes four nice sized square waffles at one time.

The only downside to this model it is a little more expensive than its round counterparts.

Square waffles add a great flare to breakfast sandwiches and ice cream sandwiches.

It also comes with pancake plates to help you make the perfect pancake every time!

Cuisinart Griddler: The Best Indoor Grill with Additional Waffle Plates

My next recommendation isn’t a waffle maker at all!  It is the Cuisinart Griddler, which is one of my all time favorite countertop appliances.

This little grill can do it all.  Meats, veggies, steaks, paninis, you name it.

it is versatile appliance I leave on the counter all the time since I use it so much.

It also comes with an option to purchase waffle plates to go along with the grill plates it comes with.

I am recommending the base model Griddler since it does everything you need it to, but there are also advanced models with digital displays and sleeker features available.

The waffle plates fit perfectly into the Griddler after you remove the grill plates.

Like our other options, the provide a super easy cleanup.

The only downside to the Griddler waffle plates is they make a slightly thinner waffle than their counterparts.

This can also be seen as a benefit if you plan on making sandwiches with the waffles.  Sometimes a two waffle sandwich can be a very heavy meal, but the Griddler waffles are a nice balance.

Picking the Best Waffle Iron with Removable Plates

While this choice may be daunting at first, be sure to think about the following things:

  • What shape waffles do you like?
  • What is your budget?
  • Do you really want a single use appliance?

If you like round waffles, the Hamilton Beach option with removable ceramic plates is my favorite pick.

If you like square waffles, and are looking for some versatility, you cannot go wrong with the Cuisinart Griddler and the additional waffle plates.

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
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.