Best Butcher Knives (2019): Reviews Of All Our Favorites For Home Chefs

No cutlery set would be complete without a butcher knife. A butcher knife is undeniably an indispensable tool in the kitchen because only it can be used for effectively chopping all sorts of ingredients no matter the shape, size, and hardness.

If you want to get a butcher knife of your own, but don’t know which one you should get, then you’re in the right place. This article will tell you all you need to know in order to get the best butcher knife for your home.

Quick Comparison: Top Butcher Knife 2019

Product Quality Price Our Rating

TUO Cutlery Vegetable Meat Cleaver Knife

A+ $$  

iMarku Cleaver Knife

A $$  

Utopia Kitchen 7 Inch Stainless Steel Chopper

A $  

Dalstrong Cleaver Butcher Knife

B+ $  

Winco 8-inch Heavy Duty Chinese Cleaver

B $  

**Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

What Is A Butcher Knife?

best butcher knifebest butcher knife

A butcher knife, also known as a meat cleaver, is a piece of cutlery that originally came from China. One of its distinguishing characteristics is the size of its blade that is similar to a meat cleaver.

Butcher knives can be used for multiple cutting tasks such as chopping vegetables, meat, and cutting through bone. But its main purpose is to cut, strip, and chop meat. Hence, the name.

Without a doubt, the butcher knife is a very versatile piece of cutlery that can outweigh the purpose of other knives in the culinary world.

Why You Need To Get A Butcher Knife

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So why would you need a butcher knife in your kitchen? I can think about different benefits that you can enjoy once you have a reliable butcher knife.

For one, it can offer you extreme versatility around the kitchen. You can use it for cutting hard ingredients such as coconuts, carrots, and other kinds of food that can be hard to penetrate by using a light knife.

However, if you ask me about the main benefit of this piece of cutlery, I think it would be the fact that it can be used to efficiently chop through meats, bones, and hard vegetables in just a single swift motion. You can get cleaner cuts with the help of a butcher knife. 

Another thing you can enjoy if you had a butcher knife at your disposal is efficient cooking. Since a butcher knife comes with a wide and thin blade, you can use it to instantly scoop up the ingredients you have chopped up. This can make it easy for you to transfer ingredients from the chopping board right into the pot or pan. You can even use a butcher knife’s handle to crush peppers and to grind herbs or spices.

How To Choose A Butcher Knife

If you have no idea whatsoever about butcher knives, I encourage you to take a look at these following features that I have listed below.

Even though butcher knives may seem like a simple and practical piece of cutlery, there are still a number of factors that you should look into to make sure that you end up with a completely reliable product that in turn, will end up making you a satisfied customer.

 

Size

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Butcher knives come in different shapes and sizes. Some butcher knives come with a design that is somewhat similar to a chef’s knife, but other butcher knives come with a blade that has a classic rectangle shape like that of a Chinese cleaver.

I personally suggest going with a meat cleaver that comes with a rectangle-shaped blade. Why? Because a blade with that shape allows for efficient chopping. You can also use it for scooping up ingredients.

 

Material

best butcher knifebest butcher knife

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Butcher knives can be made with stainless steel or carbon steel. If you ask me, there isn’t really any noticeable difference between the two. However, it is deemed that carbon steel is much more durable than stainless steel.

However, you must take note that even though carbon steel is much more durable, it is more corrosive than stainless steel. 

 

Ergonomics

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Another factor that you should look out for is ergonomics. Ergonomics pertains to the design of a product that adds to its overall usability. When it comes to butcher knives, this means that you should go with one that comes with handles that are comfortable and easy to grip.

Take note that since this is a knife, you will have to pay close attention to the handles since it can significantly affect your overall use of the product.

 

Weight

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What makes butcher knives great tools for cutting meat is their weight. Butcher knives are significantly heavier than other pieces of cutlery because of their large blades. The large blades that come with the added weight is what makes this knife easy to handle when it comes to chopping hard ingredients such as thick vegetables and bone.

 

Others

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Other things you may have to pay attention to in order to get a product that you’ll be happy using is the ease of maintenance and cleaning. This could mean going with a knife that is completely dishwasher safe. You may also want to look for a knife that comes with a hanging loop for easier storage.

The Best Butcher Knife For Your Home

 

1. iMarku Cleaver Knife

ImarkuImarku

Whether you are a meat lover at home or a person who runs a butcher shop, you will surely enjoy using the iMarku 7-inch stainless steel butcher knife for cutting, chopping, and stripping meat.

What’s great about this knife is that it comes with a highly attractive design that will make it very easy for you to pair it with your existing utensils. It comes with a nice pakka wooden handle that is easy and comfortable to grip. It will help you perfectly secure this knife in your hands as you proceed to chopping up your ingredients.

With this knife at your disposal, you can do so much more than cut and prepare meat. In fact, you can even use it for mincing, dicing, and slicing other ingredients such as soft and hard vegetables.

Another thing that I like about this knife is that it comes with a mirror-like shine that will help you determine whether this knife is completely clean or not. Even though it isn’t dishwasher safe, it’s smooth stainless steel exterior will provide you with no hassle at all when it comes to cleaning. This knife also comes with a handy hanging loop for easier storage.

Pros

  • Comes with an ergonomic handle
  • Can be used to chop, mince, dice, and slice meat and vegetables
  • Is made with durable stainless steel
  • Is easy to clean
  • Comes with a hanging loop

Cons

  • Is not dishwasher safe
  • Requires some more effort to maintain
  • Needs to be sharpened frequently

 

2. TUO Cutlery Vegetable Meat Cleaver Knife

TUO CutleryTUO Cutlery

This knife is probably the most attractive one in this list if you ask me. In fact, this knife has been deemed as one of the world’s best knives today.

Right from the moment, I saw this butcher knife I knew that I was going to enjoy using it. It comes with a semi-rectangular-shaped blade that is curved at the end and its blade is paired with a very attractive wooden handle that’s supposed to make it look rustic, but only made it look more luxurious if you ask me.

Aside from the overall look of the knife, what I loved about this piece is that it is made with high-carbon German steel. What’s great about this material is that it is really durable. Being so, it doesn’t require much maintenance such as blade alignment and sharpening because it maintains both of those factors really great all on its own.

Perhaps the only downside to this knife is that it is not dishwasher safe. And since the handles are made out of wood, you would have to take extra care of it to avoid getting unattractive chips, dents, and scratches.

Pros

  • Comes with an ergonomic handle
  • Is made with high-carbon german stainless steel
  • Is very durable
  • Doesn’t require frequent sharpening and aligning
  • Comes with a very attractive design

Cons

  • Cannot be dishwashed
  • The handle requires a lot of effort to maintain

 

3. Utopia Kitchen 7 Inch Stainless Steel Chopper

UtopiaUtopia

For those on the look-out for something with a more classic look, this one is the best option for you. The blade is made from complete stainless steel and has a heavy-duty construction to it to ensure that it will truly last for a long time. It doesn’t get dull easily unlike other knives, especially when they are in storage.

Don’t worry about using this to cut through animal bone because it gets the job done perfectly. You can use it either as a butcher knife or as a chopping knife to ensure that vegetables and meats can get cut with utmost precision.

Pros

  • If you own a restaurant, this might be a better choice for you.
  • It can be cleaned in the dishwasher
  • Can last for a long time
  • Handles are easy to grip
  • The design stands out from the rest
  • Isn’t too heavy or too light

Cons

  • Might need frequent alignment
  • It has no warranty

 

4. Dalstrong Cleaver Butcher Knife

Dalstrong Cleaver Butcher KnifeDalstrong Cleaver Butcher Knife

This razor-sharp butcher knife can be relied on for all sorts of chopping needs. It has been crafted from high-carbon German steel and the edges have been polished at a remarkable 18-degree angle on each side. With its 9-inch blade that also boasts of 4.2 mm thickness, this is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to cutting meats, fruits, vegetables and fishes into precise cuts. 

This is one luxuriously-made knife, which justifies its price. You won’t be disappointed with the handles as it is thicker than standard butcher knives, which offers a better grip. It also has black pakkawood handle for a nice aesthetic.

Pros

  • It is easy to grip and has a good size that makes cutting and chopping ingredients easier.
  • The pakkawood handle is laminated so it is resistant to damages.
  • There is a nice knuckle clearance, so it is easier to use.
  • It comes with a money back guarantee. The warranty lasts for a lifetime so in case you have a problem with it, the manufacturing company can help you out.
  • It cleans easily and is also a cinch to sharpen.

Cons

  • This is more expensive than other knives out there.

 

5. Winco 8-inch Heavy Duty Chinese Cleaver

WincoWinco

One of the most rustic-looking butcher knives in this list is the 8-inch Winco Chinese cleaver. What makes it look like an irresistible piece is its rectangular shaped blade that comes with a nice engraving on one side that is paired with a 5-inch wooden handle.

This product literally looks like it has been passed down from generation to generation during ancient Chinese times. If you are into aesthetics, then this Chinese cleaver might be the best choice for you.

If this product is too pretty, that it makes you doubt its overall usability, don’t get fooled into thinking that it can’t perform as well as the other products in this list. In fact, this cleaver comes with a highly durable and rust-resistant blade that you can use to effectively cut meat and other ingredients as well.

It also comes with a highly ergonomic 5-inch long handle that allows for a comfortable grip. Its handle is just the perfect size for a secure grip that will prevent you from accidentally throwing your cleaver during cutting.

This product is also quite easy to clean and maintain. It can be cleansed in the dishwasher and its rust-resistant handles makes for easier storage.

Perhaps the only downside to this product is that you may have to take extra care of its wooden handle since wood can easily accumulate molds when stored in a damp place. 

Pros

  • Comes with a highly attractive design
  • Comes with a decent weight
  • Has attractive wooden handles
  • The handles are ergonomically designed
  • Is great for cutting bone

Cons

  • The handles can be hard to grip if you have large hands
  • The wooden handle can accumulate molds overtime

The Winner

We recommend the iMarku Cleaver Knife for those looking for a mid-priced butcher knife that is flexible enough to be used for different chopping needs. It has a good design and seems well-made and sturdy. 

If you are looking for a butcher knife that isn’t tedious to keep sharp and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, the TUO Cutlery Vegetable Meat Cleaver Knife is the best choice for you. 

The Utopia Kitchen 7-inch Stainless Steel Chopper is a sleek and modern-looking butcher knife that can be a good choice for those who are looking for a simpler design. It is a heavy-duty choice, so you can enjoy using this to prepare ingredients for a long time. 

If budget is not an issue, invest in the Dalstrong Cleaver Butcher Knife. It is more expensive, but it does offer durability, so you can use it for a long time. If budget is an issue, then you should consider selling your used knives (read about the your options for where to sell your used chef knives on this post by UsedChefKnives.com).

Get the Winco 8-inch Heavy Duty Chinese Cleaver if you are on a tight budget. It’s not as impressive as the others but it can be relied on for heavy cooking needs. 

It’s been a tough choice, but overall we think the best butcher knife has to be the Dalstrong cleaver for its luxurious design and easy grip.

Now that you know all these, it’s time to decide which one to get. If you are looking for more kitchen and cooking products that will make working in the kitchen more convenient, go ahead and visit our homepage to find more product reviews, buying guide and product recommendations.

Best Vegetable Chopper Reviews (2019): The Most User-Friendly & Consistent Gadgets

If you cook a lot at home, then I’m sure you are very well-aware how tedious it can be to chop and slice vegetables. Chopping up one vegetable alone can take you up to 3 minutes, what more if you need to prepare a large vegetable dish for a large gathering?

It’s a good thing you can always rely on vegetable choppers to get the job done for you. To chop all kinds of vegetables with ease, you will need to have trusty vegetable choppers in your kitchen. Let me help you get the best vegetable chopper for your home. Read on to find suggestions on which vegetable choppers to get for your kitchen.

Quick Comparison: Top Vegetable Chopper 2019

Product Quality Price Our Rating

Vidalia Chop Wizard

A+ $  

Chef’n VeggiChop Hand-Powered Food Chopper

A $  

Fullstar Vegetable Chopper

A $  

Vremi Food Chopper

B+ $  

Acodine Manual Hand Chopper

B $  

**Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Benefits Of Using A Vegetable Chopper

best vegetable chopper

So, what exactly are the benefits that would make you want to buy a vegetable chopper? Well, there are really just 3 major advantages to using a vegetable chopper and that’s speed, efficiency, and cleanliness.

The first two benefits are related. Since the vegetable chopper makes the whole chopping process efficient, no time is wasted, therefore better speed when it comes to chopping vegetables.

You see, with a nice vegetable chopper at your disposal, you will not be required to go through each vegetable slice by slice. All you really have to do is peel the vegetable, place it inside the chopper, and let the machine do most of the work for you.

As for the third major benefit, vegetable choppers usually make the chopped ingredients well-contained, therefore making the whole process less messy than when you’re just chopping the ingredients on a chopping board. In fact, some vegetable choppers even come built-in with bowls for easier transferring.

Needless to say, a good vegetable chopper can reduce your chopping time in half if used properly.

How To Choose A Vegetable Chopper

There are certain features that you will have to look out for when it comes to choosing the best vegetable chopper for your home.

To make sure that you don’t end up being an unhappy and unsatisfied customer, try to use this list of important factors as a guide while you choose a vegetable chopper.

Size

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Vegetable choppers come in different sizes. Some vegetable choppers are handheld and are very compact. Others are larger but would require a larger counter space. Whatever you decide to get, just make sure that it will fit your available counter space and storage space.

Ergonomics

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To get a vegetable chopper that you can truly enjoy using, try to choose one with a highly ergonomic design. This may mean going with a vegetable chopper with comfortable handles, a stable base, or an easy-to-use chopping mechanism.

Material

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Try to choose a vegetable chopper that is made with durable cutting materials. Most vegetable choppers today are made with hard plastic and stainless steel materials. For seamless cutting, I recommend you go with a vegetable chopper that comes with a metal cutter. Even though plastic cutters can be somewhat effective, it couldn’t possibly beat the effectivity of metal ones.

Capacity

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Some vegetable choppers can only chop one vegetable at a time, while others can chop multiple vegetables all at once. Try to go with a vegetable chopper that will allow you to chop the amount that you require.

Usability

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The last thing you should never forget are the factors that add to the overall usability of the tool. When it comes to vegetable choppers, I suggest you look for one that comes with its own bowl, interchangeable cutters, etc. for added versatility.

5 Best Vegetable Choppers Today

1. Vidalia Chop Wizard

Vidalia

One of the simplest vegetable choppers in the market today is this Vidalia chop wizard. Right out of the box you will be able to use this vegetable chopper on all sorts of vegetables with ease.

What’s great about this vegetable chopper is that you can use it for boiled eggs, cheese, and all sorts of vegetables. To use it, all you really have to do is peel or slice the vegetable in half, place it inside the chopper, and give it a nice press to chop the food.

What I like about this product is that it comes with its own container. The container makes it easier to clean up after preparation. The container also makes it easier to transfer the ingredients into a pan, pot, or plate.

Another great thing about this vegetable chopper is that it comes with two interchangeable sharp cutters that will allow you to perfectly chop all kind of vegetables, even hard ones, every single time.

Needless to say, this vegetable chopper is a practical choice that will help you get the job done without any fuss.

Pros

  • Comes with a cleaning tool
  • Is dishwasher safe
  • Comes with 2 cutting discs
  • Is simple and easy to use

Cons

  • Doesn’t work well with whole pieces of hard vegetables
  • The cutting disc is a bit hard to clean

2. Chef’n VeggiChop Hand-Powered Food Chopper

Chef’n VeggiChop Hand-Powered Food Chopper

This can be relied on not just for cutting vegetables but also for boneless meats and nuts. Herbs can also be chopped with this nifty tool. If you need something powerful enough to cut through ice, you can get this one as well.

Since it is hand-operated, there is no need to plug it in an electrical outlet to work. This is a perfect choice when going out camping or when you need to prepare food in your mobile car. The mechanism is also simple and straightforward. Just place the vegetables you want to cut in the container, lock the lid in place and pull the cord. It will chop ingredients evenly even when you are putting in multiple ingredients at once.

Pros

  • This has a large capacity that will allow you to put all the things you need to chop inside and just pull the string to allow it to work its magic.
  • It is powerful enough to chop tougher vegetables and even meats, nuts and ice.
  • All the ingredients are contained in one place, so you won’t deal with a lot of mess.
  • The parts can be disassembled and cleaned in the dishwasher. Just make sure you place it on the top rack.
  • It’s very simple to store since there are no cords and no loose parts.
  • It is made from thick plastic material.

Cons

  • Some said it isn’t particularly effective in chopping leafy greens.

3. Fullstar Vegetable Chopper

Fullstar

If you are looking for a tool that’s more than just a vegetable chopper, then this one might be the best choice for you. The Fullstar vegetable chopper is practically an 8-in-1 kitchen tool that will allow you to create different kinds of slices for all kinds of ingredients.

With this vegetable chopper at your disposal, you will be able to julienne, ribbon, grate, dice, and chop different ingredients like eggs, nuts, vegetables, fruits, cooked chicken, and even chocolates.

What I like about this tool is that it reduces the mess during chopping because it comes with its own 1-quart container tray that makes the whole process more organized. Plus, the container makes it very easy to transfer the chopper to other containers.

Another great thing about this vegetable chopper is that it’s completely safe to use on food. It is made with BPA-free materials that will ensure your health. You don’t even have to worry about chopping piping hot ingredients with it.

If you decide to get this vegetable chopper, you will get multiple slicers including a coarse grater, fine grater, julienne slicer, mandolin slicer, long cutter, straight ribbon blade, and a dicer. The whole thing is even backed up by a 100% money back guarantee.

Pros

  • Comes with a money back guarantee
  • Comes with a 1-quart container tray
  • Comes with 8 different cutters
  • Comes with BPA-free materials
  • You can produce different cuts and slices, great for an assortment of vegetables.
  • Sharp blades for more even cutting

Cons

  • Is a bit hard to clean

4. Vremi Food Chopper

Vremi

If you don’t really care much about capacity and compact designs are important to you, then this vegetable chopper might be the perfect one for you. This vegetable chopper comes with a completely handheld design that makes it very compact.

What’s great about this vegetable chopper is that it doesn’t require any counter space, you don’t need much storage space, and you can easily bring it anywhere with you if you plan to create perfectly chopped vegetables while you’re on the go.

But what I loved about this vegetable chopper is how you can use it directly over a plate, bowl, pot, or pan. Since it is completely hand held, you can chop your vegetables with it right into your preferred container.

Another thing I liked about this vegetable chopper is that it allows for seamless and less messy cleanups.

Perhaps the only downside to this vegetable chopper is that it isn’t the ideal choice for chopping large cuts of vegetables. Since it is completely compact, it’s also not the best choice for chopping multiple ingredients since it can be tiresome.

However, even though it is a small and compact tool, it’s still a great vegetable chopper that offers practicality and ease of use.

Pros

  • Is very compact
  • Can be placed over plates and container bowls
  • Is very easy to use
  • Is not expensive

Cons

  • Can be difficult to clean

5. Acodine Manual Hand Chopper

Acodine

If you wish to cut the amount of time you spend on chopping vegetables and the effort it takes to clean up after chopping, then this simple press down vegetable chopper might be the best choice for you.

What’s great about the Acodine vegetable chopper is that it ultimately helps you save a lot of time during food preparation because it does pretty much all of the work for you. Right out of the box this vegetable chopper will allow you to create perfectly-chopped ingredients with just a couple presses on its chopping mechanism.

Another thing I liked about this vegetable chopper is that it comes with its own container that helps lessen the time for clean ups as well.

This product is also very easy to clean and maintain. It comes with easily removable parts that will allow you to reach all its nooks and crannies during cleaning. However, the parts are not dishwasher safe and needs to be hand washed to avoid damage.

Lastly, this vegetable chopper is fully supported by a replacement warranty. If you ever encounter any technical issues or if your product is faulty or damaged, Acodine will replace the whole thing with a new model.

Pros

  • Comes with a container
  • Ideal for chopping multiple ingredients
  • Comes with a replacement guarantee
  • Is easy to clean
  • Is very ergonomic

Cons

  • Is not dishwasher safe
  • Requires a semi-large storage space

The Winner

Which of these products should you choose for your vegetable cutting needs? We recommend the Vidalia Chop Wizard if you are looking for an uncomplicated set-up. It is a no-brainer to use and has cutting tools that will work for different kinds of vegetables. It also keeps the vegetables you cut contained so you don’t have to worry about the mess.

If you are looking for something that can cut tougher vegetables, the Chef’n VeggiChop Hand-Powered Food Chopper might be a better choice for you. It offers flexibility because you can use it to chop meats as well.

The Fullstar Vegetable Chopper is the best when it comes to versatility because it can help you achieve different types of cuts and slices. Whether you want to julienne leafy greens or make a zucchini noodles, this is a good choice for you.

If you have a small kitchen and you don’t like big and clunky kitchen tools, the Vremi Food Chopper is a more ideal choice. It has a small footprint that won’t take up a lot of space.

The Acodine Manual Hand Chopper has been getting rave reviews because of its efficiency in chopping an assortment of vegetables. Get this if you want something that is simple to use but still gets the job done.

Make sure you click the links of the products that suit your preferences and needs. Also check out our homepage to find out more kitchen tools that can make cooking and preparing food a lot easier.

The Best Pellet Smoker (2019): See Our Expert Picks

Cook Delicious Food in the Best Pellet Smoker

There is no shortage of pellet smokers and grills out there. People rely on them to get the juiciest and the most flavorful meats. Their properties enable the flavors from the smoke to delve deeper into the meat to get not just the aroma but also the depth of flavor many grilling connoisseurs look for.


Whether you’re a casual backyard barbecue enthusiast or you like the challenge of creating competition-worthy meat, this guide can help you determine which is the best pellet smoker that will provide you with the benefits you are looking for.


Producing the best-smoked food is an art. Having the right equipment and tools for the job is crucial to get the best results. The best pellet smoker should keep your food moist and tender, while infusing it with a mild smoke flavor.

Quick Comparison: Top Pellet Smokers 2019

**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.


How Do Pellet Smokers Work?

How-Pellet-Smokers-Work

Source: www.ehow.com

Smoking meat has come a long way. Gone are the days when your only option is the traditional way of igniting wood and dealing with the ashes and smoke it produces. Today, you can find an assortment of smokers and grills incorporated with convenient and modern features.

The best pellet smokers allow you to “set it and forget it,” thereby eliminating many of the inconveniences that come with grilling and smoking meats. Due to this, the popularity of pellet grills has grown. Now even those who are not experts at smoking meats can do so in their own home with ease.


Pellet smokers use small food grade wooden pellets. Each cylindrical pellet is made of sawdust from hardwood. This sawdust is then compressed to create the pellets.

The pellets burn away cleanly and start smoking at high temperature. It continues to smoke at low temperatures. One of the reasons why this is easier to use is because the pellets are made with only vegetable oils and no other additives, meaning it leaves very little ash residues behind.


Most pellet grills use electricity and can be plugged in and used immediately. Anyone can use them. It’s just a matter of selecting the right settings and filling the hopper with pellets. The hopper controls the number of pellets used and a rotating auger is used to deliver more pellets when needed.

These products have a built-in diffuser that prevents the smoker from getting everywhere. It directs the smoke to the meat, not on your clothes or hair.


The Advantages of Using a Pellet Smoker

Advantages-of-Using-a-Pellet-Smoker

Source: maceenergy.com

The best pellet smokers are foolproof. There’s a very little chance of over-smoking your food using this type of grill. In fact, these grills work just like a convection oven, you can put whatever you want on and leave it, knowing that it will be cooked evenly. Most of the high-end pellet grills come with specific temperature controls, or even pre-set meals, allowing you to cook food at the desired temperature and time.


Designed to heat up fast, pellet smokers will not produce flare-ups or fires, making them safer and easier to use. Pellet smokers are available in a wide range of sizes. Whether you are an individual cooking for your family or you need a pellet smoker for all the barbecue parties you are going to throw in the future, there is something for you out there.


Pellet smokers are versatile and are not expensive to run. A small bag of pellets (20-pound bag) can last for many cook-outs, but outdoor weather conditions and temperature might also change the way you use them.

Most pellet smokers will allow you to roast, smoke, barbecue, bake, or braise food. Plus, pellets come in many different flavors – from bourbon to hickory. This means that you can try different flavors or try something new and use a combination of pellets. Get creative and find a new dish that will leave you craving for more!



The Major Drawbacks of Using a Pellet Smoker

Not all pellet smokers function as grills although you can now find those with a grilling capacity. If you are looking to get beautiful grill marks on your meat, you might not get it from just a standard smoker alone. You might need to get one with a grilling function.

Additionally, pellet smokers tend to be dependent on electricity. You will need an outlet to hook it up so if you are going to take it outdoors where there is no ready supply of electricity, you might need to get yourself a generator first. They are also not advisable to lug around as the moving parts can become susceptible to breakage. Plus, pellet smokers are generally more expensive than an ordinary grill, costing anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a few thousand.


Pellets must be stored properly, or they can completely disintegrate. If pellets get wet or are kept in a moist environment, they will get damaged. If you happen to live in a humid climate, it is important to store your pellets in an airtight container to keep them dry.

Pellet smokers may not produce the flavor you were expecting. Most think that a smoker will saturate the food with a woodsy flavor. However, the best pellet smoker will only infuse the food with a mild smoky flavor.




Top 5 Pellet Smokers on the Market

 Memphis Grills Pro

Memphis Grills is an expensive option, but it is worth it. This smoker boasts of Wi-Fi and intelligent temperature control features. These features allow you to remotely check on the condition of your food. You can actually start smoking your meat in the morning, leave it alone so you can go do your errands and just check on it with the use of an application.

Furthermore, this grill comes with built-in automated recipe, so it knows what temperature to cook your food at and for exactly the right time. Regardless of whether you are using indirect or the direct flame mode.

Pros

  • The Memphis Grill has many great features.
  • This top-of-the-line grill is double walled and uses dual convection fans and an oven-grade gasket to produce the most delicious food for your family.
  • This grill also has a dual pellet system, which means you can mix and match flavors and know that it will not run out of pellets when cooking.

Cons

  • This grill works great, but it does have a couple of design flaws. The heating element is not very secure. It may get jostled, which might cause a variation in temperature.
  • When it detects temperature changes, this grill will automatically feed pellets to maintain a constant temperature, which could cause an overflow of pellets. To avoid this problem, all you have to do is ensure that you burn away or clean any remaining pellets and ash.

Camp Chef PG24XT

Camp Chef is a great pellet grill and smoker that comes with a digital temperature control panel. This feature allows you to "set it and forget it”. It has a dual LED screen that shows crucial information such as temperature. It shows both internal cooking and food temperatures, giving you more control over what you are cooking, something that can’t be said with other smokers.

When your food is cooking, the grill automatically dispenses more pellets when needed to maintain a consistent temperature. Plus, it automatically shuts off when done, whether you are slow smoking or grilling.

Pros

  • This grill has different heat settings, so you can easily find the temperature that will work great for your cooking needs.
  • With a lot of room to cook food and a removable upper rack, you get plenty of space for additional things you want to use for grilling and smoking.
  • The grill has a cleaning system that drops down, which means you no longer have to take apart the grill to clean it.
  • It also has a removable drip tray to clean out the ashes, which makes it the best smoker for those who don’t want the hassle of disassembly.

Cons

  • This grill works great, however, there are a couple of minor problems. Assembly can be tedious as some parts are hefty. You might need an extra pair of hands to get this assembled.
  • It tends to consume more pellets than average smokers.
  • Without proper maintenance and care, this might succumb to deterioration faster.

Louisiana Grills 60700

Louisiana Grills create some of the best pellet grills that you can be proud to add to your cooking tools. The pellets you can use in this grill will allow you to inject as much flavors to the food you are smoking as possible.

This grill takes the hassle out of watching your food. Worrying about fires or flare-ups is a thing of the past. With the easy push button controls, you can automatically set the temperature, and have it automatically shut off, reducing the chances of burning your food. Whether you have 30 minutes or a whole day to slow cook your food, this grill and smoker will be a great cooking ally.

Pros

  • This grill has some great features and many benefits.
  • It uses a burner and exhaust system to circulate the air and reach a higher temperature faster. It has a spacious grilling surface, so you can cook bigger chunks or portions of meat at a time.
  • This grill offers a convection method of cooking, so it can cook your meals evenly and deliver the most flavors.

Cons

  • With just a few flaws, this grill is very efficient and works well to cook any type of food. The construction of the grill could be a bit better as there are parts that look and feel cheap. The paint looks like it could have been done better.
  • This grill could use a drip pan or a small door where you could change pellets easier. It could also use a place to attach your cooking utensils, like a shelf or hooks.

Pit Boss 700FB Pellet Grill

This handsome-looking, all-black grill is an all-around solution to your cooking needs. It has a large cooking grill that can cater to home and professional cooks alike. If you want to have a reliable alternative cooking tool, this is the best thing you can rely on as it does more than just smoke meats, you can also use this to grill pizza and burgers, bake biscuits and sear steaks. You can also grill more delicate food like fish and vegetables.

Say goodbye to conventional grilling that makes use of gas and propane. This uses cooking-grade wood pellets that is natural and good for the health. With its seamless engineering and design and convenient features, this is a great smoker to buy for people who don’t like to use a complicated cooking equipment.

Pros

  • It allows you to grill and smoke a wide range of ingredients
  • It has a digital control center that allows you to tweak its temperature settings with ease. You can set it up to the lowest heat setting of 170-degrees Fahrenheit to the highest setting of 600-degrees Fahrenheit
  • The electric ignition makes this uncomplicated to set up.
  • It produces clean and flavor-infused smoke, thanks to its fan-forced air acceleration system
  • It cools down automatically after you are done cooking, thereby reducing the risks of damaging the smoker or starting a fire
  • It’s a heavy-duty griller that users have enjoyed having in their home for years.
  • Many users have had this for years and they said it still looks as great as it did when they first had it.
  • It is not tedious to clean or maintain.
  • It also comes with an upper cooking rack, allowing you to do indirect cooking

Cons

  • Some users had complaints with its temperature sensor, saying it’s not the most accurate out there
  • If you experience problems with the product delivered to you like some users experienced, sending it back will cost you a good amount of money
  • Some users said the metal covering flame box feels a little flimsy



Traeger TFB29LZA Grills Junior Elite Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

This can be your ally in making the best smoked and grilled food. Its design has a vintage feel to it, that makes you think you can pass it on to the next generation with no issues. It does more than just smoke and grill meats, you can also roast, bake and braise with this product.

Unlike other smokers that might be difficult to take with you for outdoor excursions, this one doesn’t have that problem. If you are looking for a smoker that you can take with you for your camping trips or even for tailgating, this is the one to buy.

Pros

  • This has a good amount of grilling space. You can cook a variety of food in one go
  • The digital controller is foolproof. It allows you to set the smoker to the temperature you prefer. The LED display that is integrated in it also allows you to see how hot or cool the inside of the grill is getting.
  • It has an auto-start ignition. This nifty feature just makes smoking your favorite meats so much easier.
  • The steel components seem well-built. The powder coat finish doesn’t peel off or turn a different color after a few uses.
  • It comes with a hopper storage box for the pellets.
  • There is a drip tray for the excess oil from the meats.
  • It has porcelain grill grates that are easy to clean.

Cons

  • Some said this isn’t backed by good customer service
  • There were issues about the hopper not feeding pellets to the smoker efficiently

Conclusion

Still not sure which one to buy? If budget is not an issue and you’re just looking for a smoker that can deliver quality and prime results, the Memphis Grill and Pellet smoker won’t fail you. It has earned a good reputation when it comes to the best-tasting smoke meats, thanks to its seamless functions and consistent temperature.

You can’t go wrong with either the Camp Chef Deluxe Pellet Grill or the Traeger Junior Elite Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker if you are looking for a smoker that you can use for outdoor camping needs. You can set it up easily and it’s not difficult to lug around.

Home cooks will love the Louisiana Grills Pellet Grill and the Pit Boss 700FB Pellet Grill that gives them more flexibility in cooking. Roast, bake or braise in these grills. They can become your kitchen’s extension. Use the best pellet smoker like this one: Smoker BBQ with Digital Controls and Stainless Temp Probe if you want to cook delicious food.

Are you looking for more home cooking and kitchen tools? Check out our home page to find more product recommendations, reviews and buying guide that you can use to build an efficient and functional kitchen.


8 Mushroom Substitutes That You Should Know

Mushrooms can provide unique earthy taste to the food. It is almost distinct that replicating its flavor is quite complex. Finding the right mushroom substitutes is a troublesome task, even for gourmet sleuths. It simply emits a tang that you can never simply get from mixing other ingredients.

It has been stated by many chefs and culinary professionals that mushrooms are among of the foodstuff that cannot be substituted easily. The culinary rarity of the flavor of mushrooms is something that not everyone can chase and mimic. However, this doesn't mean that we have to stop, right?

Okay. Here's the general rule that some people follow when it comes to mushrooms. If the recipe requires the inclusion of mushrooms, you can try replacing any other veggies that you want. It doesn't matter what vegetable you choose. Just simply exclude mushroom in the equation. You just have to alter the flavor of the recipe.

However, if the main item of the recipe is mushroom, you might not want to continue that recipe anymore. Don't get pissed by this fact. Just like I said, mushrooms have another tier of tang that is too complex to recreate. Even if they are simple ingredients, mushrooms should still never be whittled down.

A Brief Introduction to Edible Mushrooms

The food alternatives for mushroom can be safely considered as rare or scarce. A professional cook can justify this claim to you. Of course, there are various reasons why this is the case. Apparently, a lot of people just don't mind to find mushroom alternatives because they don't want mushrooms in the first place. In fact, some are even allergic to this food.

Fortunately, there are different variants to mushrooms. The number can go as high as 5 million. But take note that a chief number of these mushrooms are not edible. A few of them are too deleterious for your body. That's why it is essential that you only get mushrooms that are being sold in the market. You can also grow edible variants of mushrooms but always be careful of the environment so that they won't get contaminated.

Despite being the most unlikely ingredients, mushrooms are still causing a boom in the economy of many people. In Europe, many rural folks are in the business of foraging. They usually culture the mushrooms by themselves in a controlled setting. Some hunters harvest mushrooms in woodlands. They are proliferating there.

Countries like New Zealand have deep affection toward mushrooms. They are prime cultivators and exporters of shiitake, oyster, and enoki mushrooms. And they can give it to you in a variety of forms. They offer dried and fresh mushrooms as long as you pay the price.

If you take all these facts into account, you can easily conclude that mushrooms are not scarce. They are widely available in the market with a plethora of local versions all over the world. But still, they can't help you if you don't want to eat mushrooms because you don't like them or because you have allergies.

You can always resort to these following ingredients if you want to somehow replicate the flavor of mushrooms.

Best Mushroom Substitutes

Tofu

Tofu is one of the most creative alternatives for mushrooms. You can slice tofu and submerge it soy sauce so that it can imbibe the earthy flavor of field mushrooms. If you are trying to make a mushroom sauce, you can freely replace the mushroom with tofu slices. Of course, I can attest that the flavor will never be as close as to mushrooms. But certainly, the sauce will appear like you have used mushrooms on it. You can also include tofu slices and bits in soups and stews (cut them on these Cutting Boards by Epicurean that are a great value).

Tempeh

Tempeh may be new for you. But it is actually a common ingredient in Indonesia. Specifically, it is a soy product that has a firm texture and characteristic. Amusingly, the appearance of this food is pretty similar to nutty nougat. But of course, their taste is far too different.


The flavor of tempeh is almost similar to mushrooms. Their texture can also be comparable if you slice tempeh as thinly as possible. Tempeh is created by soaking soybeans in water then partly cooking them. After that, the beans are subjected to a mold that produces the tempeh. However, if you are allergic to the molds, then tempeh is not a good alternative for you.

Tofu and Soy Sauce

For those who want to create mushrooms soup with the mushroom, you can use the combination of tofu and soy sauce. Add the mixture to a base composed of carrots, root veggies, sauteed onions, and leeks. Once done, you can already pour the cream. Some variants of vegetable stocks can work well in the recipe.

You can also combine tofu and soy sauce to create a mushroom sauce for your favorite steak. Just add onions, miso paste, meat stock and mustard, if necessary.

Zucchini

Nobody would ever think that zucchini can also be used as a mushroom substitute. But apparently, the earthy tang of this food can somehow replicate the ones produced by mushrooms.

Zucchini is a vegetable that is included in the squash family. Because of that, this veggie has a moniker of summer squash. When they get mature, zucchini can grow as long as one meter. But typically, this squash is harvested when they are still small. A young zucchini has a moderately sweet flavor, which is akin to mushrooms. The texture of its flesh is somehow reminiscent of mushrooms, too.

You can use zucchini as a replacement for mushroom in pasta dishes. You just have to chop or grate it into tiny pieces. Other savory dishes that are includes mushrooms can be replaced by zucchini. But then again, let me remind you that their flavor will never be the same.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Tomatoes can be dried through the heat of the sun. And once it happens, they can become substitutes for mushrooms. This is due to the earthy flavor that is produced throughout the drying process. Many culinary expert love to use sun-dried tomatoes because they can offer a unique taste to any recipe they touch. While they are dried, the tomatoes are being seasoned with herbs, parsley, and other spices to further enhance their flavor.

Sun-dried tomatoes can replace mushrooms as toppings for different dishes. They might have different flavor compared to mushrooms, but the texture they give makes the recipe earthy and flavorful. You can dice or slice them, depending on the requirement of the dish.

Eggplant

Another unorthodox mushroom substitute is the eggplant. This is a common kitchen ingredient all over the world. They are used in various recipes, but they can also serve as a main dish for hardcore vegetarians.

The soft and sensitive texture of eggplants is somehow similar to mushrooms. Their slightly sweet taste also makes them a good ingredient for recipes that have mushroom toppings or base. Since mushrooms are long in size, you need to cut them into tiny pieces before you add them to the mixture (check out this high quality, low cost knife set on Amazon).

Russet Potatoes

Potatoes come in multiple variants. That is a given. One good example is the Russet potato. Unlike the common potatoes that you see in the market, Russet potatoes are large and long. Their skin is quite thick and hard to peel. They contain a huge amount of starch and their fruits are moderately dry.

The high level of starch in Russet potatoes makes them as ideal ingredients for fried and baked recipes. However, you should not use them in salad and soup recipes. They can cause sogginess in the dish. Therefore, you should not make them as a replacement for mushroom soups and sauces.

On the flip side, Russet potatoes are usable for dry recipes that include mushrooms. Fried dishes that come with mushroom toppings can be revitalized by the use of this potato variant. You just have to peel the potato and chop it down to your desired shape and size (buy peeler on Amazon).

Garbanzo Beans

I placed Garbanzo Beans in the last portion because of its innate rarity. This particular ingredient only flourishes in only a few regions of the world. There are two variants for this bean: the smaller one and the bigger one. Each of them can be used in different recipes, but the nutritional value of smaller Garbanzo Beans is higher than its big brother. You can use Garbanzo Beans to replace mushrooms in dry recipes.

 

Before you can use Garbanzo Beans as a substitute for mushrooms, you have to cook them first. This is how you should do it:

  • check
    Examine the beans and remove all those spoiled and rotten ones
  • check
    Rinse them carefully so that you can give them a thorough cleaning.
  • check
    Rinse the beans again in a water-filled pot. Place the pot on your stove and let the beans be boiled for about three minutes. Don't forget to cover the pot.
  • check
    After this, switch off the stove but don't remove the beans yet. Let them stay there for two to three hours.
  • check
    Once done, the beans are already safe to be used as mushroom alternatives.

Conclusion

Mushrooms are ingredients derived from the fungi kingdom. But despite their status, edible mushrooms are still on par with some veggies when it comes to nutritional contents that they have. They are known to curb down health issues like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

Aside from their health benefits, mushrooms are also great in improving the overall taste of various recipes. They elevate the impact and appeal of the dish. That's why it is a sad thing if some people dislike or allergic to them. Their tongues are missing a lot of flavorful palettes.

Fortunately, these mushroom substitutes that I have listed here can somehow cope up with this problem. You just have to use them appropriately so that you can get the best results.

Do you know other alternatives for mushrooms? Share it with us in the comment section below!

Best Springform Pan Reviews (2019): The Greatest For Cheesecakes & More

Making the perfect cheesecake at home is not complete without a springform pan. It is a baking equipment that enables you to create mess-free and hassle-free cheesecakes. You can achieve the classic circular shape of a cheesecake with the help of this baking tool.

Professional bakers are not the only ones who can use this baking staple. Home bakers can also take advantage of its many benefits. If you like cheesecakes and you fancy making one at home, it would make sense to have one or two reliable springform pans so you can whip up your favorite kind of cake any time.

Quick Comparison: Top Springform Pans 2019

Product Quality Price Our Rating

Nordic Ware Leakproof Springform Pan

A+ $

Farberware Nonstick Bakeware 9-Inch Round Springform Pan

A+ $$

USA Pan Bakeware Springform Pan

A- $$$

Boxiki Kitchen Non-Stick Springform Pan

B+ $$

Wilton Excelle Elite 9-Inch Springform Pan

B $

**Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

What is a Springform Pan?

via https://www.tablespoon.com/

Any baker will find the springform pan indispensable in their baking repertoire. It is a kind of bakeware with separated sides. There is a lock that secures the sides together and keep them secured to the base. When you remove that lock, you can easily remove the sides so that the cake you baked will easily slide out. It keeps the shape of the cheesecake intact.

These pans come in different shapes and sizes such as circle, rectangle, square and heart shapes. Most bakers opt for the circular ones as this is the traditional shape of cakes. You can get them in basic 9-inch sizes but there are also smaller or bigger ones these days.

Springform pans are often made using anodized aluminum but there are also those products made from heavy gauge steel and even glass. The aluminum and steel ones have a layer of non-stick coating as well as waterproofing at the base area to prevent leakage. Some springform pans also come with waffled bottoms.

Choosing the Best Springform Pan for Cheesecake Lovers

Not all springform pans have the same quality and features. That said, you would want to pay attention to what you are buying so you can choose one that will suit your cheesecake-making preferences better. Here are some factors to consider:

Light and Dark-colored Pans

via https://www.allrecipes.com/

It is a common knowledge that dark colors are efficient in absorbing heat. Meanwhile, light colors have reflective properties. They fend off the heat, which causes longer baking time. If you want to bake the cake with utmost precision, light pans are the ideal choice. But for quicker and fully-cooked output, you should get dark-colored pans.

Non-stick Surfaces

via https://www.tablespoon.com/

It’s important for the springform pan you are buying to have non-stick properties. This feature prevents the food from sticking to the pan. Take note that cheesecakes are soft and fragile. Once they stick to the pan, it will be difficult to remove them without ruining their shape.

Construction

via https://www.allrecipes.com/

There are two types of springform pans that exist in the market today: the metal and glass pans. The metal pans are easier to use just because they are more resistant to damages. Glass pans could be susceptible to breakage and will require more careful handling.

You can also find silicone springform pans today. A lot of bakers prefer using this kind of material because it is pliable, and you get more consistent results. It also doesn’t damage the end result as the baked good slides out easily. These pans are also easier to store because they can be compacted.

The Best Springform Pans: Top 5 Reviews

  • Farberware NonstickBakeware 9-Inch Round Springform Pan (Heat Resistant)
  • Nordic Ware Leakproof Springform Pan (For Quick Baking)
  • USA Pan Bakeware Springform Pan (Leak-Proof)
  • Boxiki Kitchen Non-Stick Springform Pan (Dishwasher-Safe)
  • Wilton Excelle Elite 9-Inch Springform Pan (Heavy Duty)

I checked out the different springform pans out there and looked for those with the best prices and the highest ratings. Here are the best ones you can get if you want to make cheesecakes at home:

1. Farberware Nonstick Bakeware 9-Inch Round Springform Pan

Farberware 9-inch round

Farberware Nonstick Bakeware Springform Pan is one of the finest springform pans that you can get today. From its structure down to the results that it can give, this pan does not lack a thing. It is a food-safe baking ware that is capable of long-lasting performance without warping or rusting.

The non-stick coating of the Farberware Springform Pan ensures that your cheesecakes and pies will remain beautiful and presentable throughout the baking process. It can turn the dish into perfectly-balanced and browned desserts. It can release the cake smoothly and free from any blemishes.

Getting a pan that can endure temperatures is not easy. But during our research, we discovered that Farberware Nonstick Bakeware 9-Inch Round Springform Pan is the best springform pan that can endure high temperatures.​

The entire springform pan has high heat resistance. It can endure temperatures that as high as 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Even if things get scorching hot, the structure of the pan won’t be altered and compromised. The size of the pan is also adequate enough to prepare large cheesecakes, tortes, and tarts.

Pros

  • checkHassle-free clean-up
  • checkEnables quick and compact storage
  • checkBakes equally; no hotspots can burn your ingredients
  • checkExtremely sturdy construction
  • checkRust and scratch resistant

Cons

  • Susceptible to minor leakages, especially if the ingredients are very runny
  • exclamation-triangleYou need to hand wash it to protect it from damages

2. Nordic Ware Leakproof Springform Pan

Nordic Ware

If you are going to use cheesecake mixture that is a bit more on the runny side, you might want to check out the Nordic Ware Springform Pan. It is a dark-colored pan that has a tried and tested reputation in preventing the ingredients from leaking out. It comes with tight seals that e