What are Zone Heaters? – Definition and Uses

zone-heatersWhat are zone heaters? Actually, they are certain heaters that are designed to heater certain rooms and spaces which are referred to as “zones”. On the market, they come in different designs and technologies, including small and portable infrared or radiant heaters, and ductless split wall-mounted heaters.

They are different from center heating systems and only concentrate heater to a certain small spaces, usually where the family gathers together. You can buy your family several zone heaters. That is OK. Why? This is because the running center heating system is very high and zone heaters can help reduce your heating expense. Home center heating systems can heat up a whole house or room. However, this is a waste of energy. Sometimes, we only need to heat in a small area. Therefore, a zone heater is enough to make us warm and comfortable.

Dislike ductless split systems that must hire professional to install, the portability of a zone heater is also obvious. You can locate your zone heaters where you like or need.

When it comes to energy efficiency, this depends on the efficiency of the zone heater, the technology the heater uses, how long it runs, how it was installed and climate conditions. However, some energy savings should be realized when one room or area is kept warm and comfortable and the main heating systems should be turned down.

On the market, there are a variety of zone heaters. The prices vary from $20 to $200 or more. For the best performance and energy efficiency, the capacity depends on the main room that needs to be heated. If you are looking for the best zone heater, you can read our heater reviews:

You also can read this article to learn more about electric heaters:

Different Types of Electric Heaters for Home

How Do Home Electric Heaters Work

The answer is resistance. Actually, electric heaters take the use of resistance to work through. Under applied voltages, electrical current is driven to flow through the heater’s heating element. And then electrical resistance happens at the heating element that heats up finally. Of course, electric heaters require an electrical circuit of 120v or 240v and this depends on the size of the heater you have and the size of the room you need to heat.

Infrared Heaters

Optimus-H-5511-Infrared-Quartz-RadiantElectrical heaters work by radiant or convection heat. By using the natural law, convection heat can make hot air rise and it relies on natural convection to move the hot air around the room to warm the room. However, radiant or infrared heaters works differently. It doesn’t heat the air but heats objects directly. You may know that infrared has an obvious diffraction effect, so it can bypass the air and directly work on large objects.

This is very important, because this determines where your electric heater can be located. If you have a convection heater, the ideal location is near the floor level. This is because it will heat the cold air near the floor. However, a radiant heater can be located at the ceiling or floor level, because it directly heats objects like the floor, tub or room occupants, etc.

On the market, there are several types of electric heaters, including:

  • Wall heaters
  • Baseboard heaters
  • Toe-kick heaters
  • Cove or panel heaters

And we will discuss them one by one in the following.

Electric Wall Heaters

electric-wall-heatersWall heaters can be used as supplemental heat in smaller rooms. For example, a bath room really needs a wall heater in cold seasons. Most of them are a convection heater and they are installed in the wall cavity, becoming one part of your wall. Therefore, they will not stick out, saving much space for you. Some of them can be radiant heaters that use electric coils to heat up and back panel to reflect heat to the room. Most of them are self-contained and include built-in thermostats.

Of course, it is not allowed to install them in exterior walls, because they are not compatible with exterior insulation and you will also encounter the condensation problems because the hot metal in a cold exterior wall tends to condense easily.

Electric Baseboard Heaters

fahrenheat-fbe15002-electric-baseboard-1000-wattElectric baseboard heaters are similar to hydroponic baseboard heaters, but the difference is that they use electric heating coils for convection heating. And they don’t use any motorized method to convect heat. Because they don’t have room for motorized cooling, they only take the use of mother nature to move hot air. Because of convection, hot air rise and cold air is drawn to the bottom to be warmed by its heating elements. Cool or cold air is drawn into its bottom slots and the warm air is released from its top slots. Generally, they are placed beneath windows, because this can counter heat loss through the window glass. Most models offer an integrated thermostat control, while others may come with a remote line voltage thermostat to control the heater. To make it perform better, the unit should be kept clear of drapes and there is no furniture in front of them.

Electric Toe-kick Heaters

qts1500t-instant-cabinet-kickspace-thermostatElectric toe-kick heaters are designed for limited space applications because of their low profile. Because of their 3.5″ bodies, they can fit in a 4″ toe space under vanities and cabinets. And they can use a fan to distribute warm air thanks to their proportions. You can use them as a supplemental heat source for best performance. A built-in thermostat or a remote line voltage thermostat may be included. Therefore, you can choose your desired type of thermostats.

Electric Cove Heaters

electric-cove-heatersIf you prefer to the maximum comfort an electric heater can offer, you can choose an electric cover heater which uses direct radiant (infrared) heat. Because infrared (radiant) heat only warm objects, tub, your tile work and you rather than the air, you will receive maximum comfort. You can place a cover heater anywhere you like, like below the ceiling or on the wall, making it convenient to use.

What is a Chimenea?

chimeneaChimenea is also spelled as chiminea, pronounced che-meh-NEH-yah. In Spanish, it means chimney. You may see Mexican chimeneas at marketplaces for sale and you also can see them at tourist sites in Arizona, California and other western states. Generally, Mexican chimeneas are hand-decorated terracotta outdoor fireplaces that are very charming. A chimenea can be used as a functional fire feature in your outdoor space, while some use them as garden art or accent pieces on their patio for that Southwestern or rustic look. Chimeneas have a long history, not only used as a decorative fashion statement in recent years.

Chimenea History

Its origins can at least go back to the 16th or 17th century. In some small Mexican villages, chefs tended to use chimeneas to cook vessels, while families gather near chimeneas for warmth. Therefore, they were useful for both cooking and warmth, not only as a fireplace. Generally, a traditional chimenea was made of clay and has a wide bottom vase form, a narrow chimney in the vertical direction. The wide mouth is perfect for the fire pit, while the vertical chimney can direct smoke. The vase form design of chimeneas make they can be used even in the rain, because the water cannot extinguish the flame in the bottom.

Basically, a chimenea is similar to an old-fashioned, wood-burning potbelly stove that is made of cast-iron. In some Eastern European countries, people would like to use a similar type of stove, called a kotao to cook many delicious dishes. Of course, such stove is also wood-burning stove. People place large cooking pans on the kotao to cook foods. A chiminea is not so wide and is contained, compared with an open fire pit. When it comes to choosing the wood-burning materials, you can choose some aromatic woods, like pinewood, mesquite, hickory, or cedar. When the smoke is blew up and out, you will smell the fragrance. After igniting wood-burning materials, chimeneas can give off a lot of heat in 15 minutes. Similar to other outdoor fireplace or wood-burning outdoor fire pits, the fire also can be controlled.

Buying Guides

On the market, there are many chimenea. Before making a buying decision, forget those fancy features, like lovely flowers, or Spanish motifs. And the following tips can really help you make a wise decision.

  • Overall design and shape: Is its chimney or funnel too thin or thick? It is crooked?
  • What are they made of: The traditional chimeneas are made of terracotta or clay. However, modern chimeneas are made of other materials, like cast aluminum, steel, cast iron, or copper.
  • Enough space to fit standard pieces of wood. If the inner space is smaller, you cannot put in these standard-size pieces of wood but need to chop or just buying chunks, chips or smaller pieces of wood.
  • Where do you live in? Some zones may ban indoor or outdoor wood-burning fireplaces. If this is true, you can buy a chimenea that runs propane or gas.

Where to Place?

If you want to find a place to locate your chimenea, the location you choose should be safe and you can see the flames easily in your house. Therefore, the ideal places can be a courtyard, deck, patio, etc. If you want to make your chimenea work more effectively, make sure its back faces a wind. This may be a little difficult, sometimes. Of course, to make it work properly, its chimney should be set up vertical and straight.

The surface you put your chimenea should also be solid. Brick, concrete or stone patios are perfect choices.

How to care for your chimenea?

Because chimeneas are made of clay, they are heavy and prone to cracking. Therefore, you need to care for your chimenea on a regular basis. Once you buy a new chimenea, before using, you need to apply a sealer or acrylic finish. And during seasons of use, you need to do this job every 6 to 8 weeks. The acrylic finish can protect your chimenea from moisture and water, because it can soften the clay. Therefore, the acrylic finish can prevent your chimenea from cracking or falling apart. In rainy seasons, it is highly recommended to store your chimenea as well as other patio furnishings in a garage, shed or basement.

Where to Buy

On the market, there are so many different chimeneas and sometimes it is really difficult to choose, especially if you are the first time to buy a chimenea. Fortunately, we have made a list of top 5 best chimeneas for you to choose from. And our chimenea reviews can help you find your right model.

How to Warm Up Your Patio (Backyard heating)

fire-featureChoosing a Fire Feature for Your Yard

If you want to extend the time you spend outdoors, especially in cold seasons, from hours to months, you need to add a fire feature to your deck, patio or backyard. You will get a focal point, as well as a comfortable place around which to relax, entertain, gather and enjoy your time outdoors. I think this is so great. Family members or friends will have a good place to spend leisure time.

You can choose a fire pit or other ways to warm up your backyard, but different ways vary in price. Or course, if you want a pit or hearth that is custom-designed with elaborate materials and features, you will pay much more than directly buying a simple chimenea or fire pit which only costs about $100 or less.

If you choose fuels to warm up your outdoor space, you also need to pay attention to your local wood-burning codes and laws. Therefore, you need to check with your country or city for details. You also can choose gas or butane, because it is more eco-friendly to our environment. However, you need to hire a professional to hook it up.

If you want to spend more time outdoors, the following ideas can help you find the right way to warm up your outdoor space, ensuring you have a warm space to enjoy your leisure time.

Fire Pit

fire-pitThanks to their ease of use, low cost and portability, fire pits are one of the most popular ways to add fire feature to your outdoor space. Traditional fire pits are designed to be low to the ground. You can built one or just buy one, because there are many fire pits available on the market, which are different from sizes, shapes and materials. The most popular fire pit is the wood-burning fire pit. However, if you need an environmental choice, you can choose fire pits which are fueled by gas or propane. They are a much greener choice. Of course, you also need to pay attention to the local laws or codes, because some regions ban.

Outdoor Fireplaces

outdoor-fireplace1An Outdoor fireplace is really a focal point for your garden or backyard. What’s more, it also means a sense of permanence. Near an outdoor fireplace, you and a low table and some outdoor seating, and you will get a perfect outdoor room. Such a fireplace can be a DIY project or you can purchase a prefab unit directly. Spend time and so some research and you will get the best results. There are many types of materials, like concrete, metal, stone, or brick and fuel can be wood or gas.

The location is also very important. You can think about shrubs, low-hanging trees, and near structures. The last thing you need to pay attention is that the wind should not blow smoke in your neighbor’s garden or yard.


chimineasIf you don’t want to pay much for a fire feature, you can consider buying a chiminea which is an affordable fire feature. Generally, they are made of metal or clay. The one you choose should be sturdy and comes with a spark screen. If you need to vent the smoke, chimney extensions should be included. For example, if you play a chiminea on a porch or patio, you need to vent the smoke.

Hot Tubs and Spas

hot-tubs-and-spasGenerally, hot tubs can offer you a temperature of 104 degrees F. Imagine just outside on the deck or patio, the bubbling tub is waiting for you. This is cool in cold winters. Even if it is snowing outside, a hot tub or spa can warm you up quickly and make you feel relaxed after a whole day’s work. You sore muscles can be relaxed. Well, when you want to exit, make sure you have a towel, slippers and a warm robe nearby. Or you will easily get cold.

Heated Floors

outdoor-patio-flooring-woodIf you want to extend the season of your patio or deck, radiant heating is a perfect choice. With it, your patio or deck will be heated. Even if it is cold, the heated floor can warm you up. And your children can have a good place to play.

Similar to an indoor application, radiant heating becomes more and more popular. The heating system is able to warm up your decks and patios. And you even can use it to melt snow. However, you need to hire a professional to install the system.

Outdoor Kitchen

outdoor-kitchenIf you have an outdoor kitchen, you can make your outdoor kitchen you want to be even on a chilly day. You can use your brick pizza oven, a grill other outdoor cooking appliances that can heat up things quickly. And your guests will be attracted by the delicious aromas of food cooking. Neighbors will be attracted to hang out on the patio.

Patio Heaters

Aura-Patio-Plus-Weatherproof-Radian-Electric-Patio-Heater-300x199Another way you use to heat your patio is to use a portable patio heater which doesn’t take up much space and is usually fueled by gas or propane. Generally, such a patio heater can heat up an area of less than 25 square feet. They are easy to see on the patio of restaurants. Of course, they are also suitable for your patio.

Outdoor Rugs and Blankets

outdoor-rugsWhile a rug is not a heating source, it doesn’t offer the same amount of heat as a patio heater or a fire pit. However, such a rug and blanket can make your deck or patio cozier. Add a rug or blanket, or throw and snuggle with your partner, you will forget the cold.

A Warm Friend and Hot Beverages

coffee-teaIf it is very cold outside, you also can grab your favorite animal (like a dog or cat) or person, and then cuddle one the patio or porch. If there is no other heating resource, you should dress warmly. Having a rug or blanket is also a good choice. And then you need a delicious, hot cup of coffee, tea or other hot beverages.

How to Effectively Organize, Declutter and Store Your Small Kitchen Appliances

kitchen-appliancesIf you are a kitchen appliance addict, you may have plenty of different types of kitchen appliances. How to effectively organize these kitchen appliances? Well, this depends on what type of cook you prefer to. For people who are a raw food nut, blender may take the first place and should be front-and-center. If you are a vegan, a pressure cooker is a must-have item and should be ready to use at any time, while indoor grills and slow cookers are so important for those who are meat-enters. No matter you are a vegan, a meat-eater, or a raw food nut, the following 4 steps can help you organize your kitchen appliances much better.

  • Group by use.
  • Cut Down appliances.
  • Cut cabinet clutter.
  • Form Good Habits

1. Cut Down Your Appliances

The first step you need to do is to group these kitchen appliances by use. This step is very important for declutter and organize your kitchen appliances. You need to group them by use, never-used, rarely-used and frequently used. If the storage space in your kitchen is limited, it is highly recommended to allocate your storage space wisely by owing multiple-functional appliances. Check these appliances carefully and make sure they are robust to use.

Here, we have some examples for you to follow:

  • Once you own a high-quality blender, you don’t need a food processor, because such a high-end blender can also double as a food processor.
  • If you have a waffle iron, a Panini press seems not so important. And you can use your waffle iron instead of a Panini press.
  • You also can use a stock pot to produce perfectly cooked rice, so if you just need to cook rice occasionally, a rice cooker seems unnecessary. However, if you need to cook rice frequently, such a rice cooker can make the cooking process much easier.

2. Banish Never-Used Kitchen Appliances

This seems so easy but this is also the hardest step for most people. These never-used appliances are unnecessary, so the best ways is to let them go. Maybe you are not willing to do that, but the fact is that they don’t generate any value for you. Think about egg poachers, juicers, and rice cookers. Of course, if you use them, it is no problem. However, the fact is that if you have never-used an egg poacher to poach an egg or never made a green juice, it is most likely to never use them in the future.

Don’t let these never-used appliances to occupy your limited kitchen cabinet storage space.

3. Donate Or Recycle these Never-used Appliances

If you have many un-used kitchen appliances and you don’t plan to use them in the future, they can find a new home easily via selling online, consignment or donation. Donating is really a good way to declutter your appliances by putting your appliances into others hand.

You can sell these un-used appliances on Ebay or find a charity in your area to donate.

Sometimes, you may be not sure whether you need the appliance or not. Therefore, you can try this method. Put the appliance in a box and store this box, so you cannot see it any more. About a month later, you can know whether you need it or not. If you used it in a month, then you can keep it. If you never think about this stored appliance, you have enough reasons to sell it or recycle it after a few months.

4. Cut Cabinet Clutter

If you have pared down these un-used or never used appliances, it is time to organize your useful appliances. In your cabinets, they should be organized well and easy to navigate. Therefore, no matter when you need one appliance, you can easily find it at the right places. The following tips are useful:


  • Before putting your appliance into your cabinet, it is a good habit to wrap its cord around it. This can help to cut clutter, making it look more organized.
  • Some seldom use or seasonal appliances needs to be stored in higher shelves, so a step-tool is needed.
  • Manuals are unnecessarily stored in your cabinet, so you can save these manuals in Google DOCx, or just bookmark them online.
  • Some smaller parts are not easy to store, because if you directly store them in your cabinet, they will make your cabinets looks pesky. Therefore, a good way is to use zip loc bags to store them. Of course, you need to label them, so you can easily find them in the future. For example, a food processor comes with many attachments and you can use this method to store them.
  • If you don’t have enough time, at least, you need to take a Saturday or Sunday morning and follow the above steps to organize your kitchen cabinets. And in the next week, when you open your cabinets, you will receive a huge energy boost.

5. How to Store Rarely-Used Kitchen Appliances

You may find there are a few kitchen appliances that you only use once every 3 or 4 months. Think: food processor, slow cooker, waffle maker, blender, ice cream maker – you will get the idea.

The good way is to store these rarely-used appliances on a higher shelf. These less-used items should not take up valuable low cabinet or countertop real estate.

For example, some items are exclusively useful at Christmas time, so you can store in your kitchen project bin.

Tip: The locations of these appliances should change seasonally. A slow cooker becomes useful in the fall or winter, while in hot summer, an ice cream maker becomes a frequent use appliance. Of course, you need to change their location accordingly. In the summer, the ice cream maker should be put on lower shelves.

6. How to Store the Frequently Used Appliances

There is no organizing and storage scheme, because the scheme you choose depend on how you cook and what appliances you like to use and how much storage space your cabinet has. Well, how to store your appliances well?

Of course, put your most frequently used appliances on your countertop or on the lowest shelves in the cabinet. This means they are so easy to access when you need to use them.

Un-used or never-used appliances should be sold or donated. If you are not sure whether you need it or not, you can reassess it.

7. How to Maintain and Upgrade

If you want to keep your appliances organized, you need to organize your appliances on a regular basis. The more often you organize your appliances, the less time it will cost you the next time. At least, you need to go through your cabinets twice a year.

And you can label your each shelf, like a food processor, wine glasses, dishes, etc. And you also can tape an inventory list to your cabinet door.

How to Clean Small Appliances

small appliancesFor people who have plenty of small appliances (like coffee maker, water distillers, coffee grinders, rice cookers, etc.), how to clean small appliances is really very important. You may have an addition, and you counters may be full of small kitchen appliances that are the latest versions. Of course, these appliances are really good helpers in our daily life, because they can simply our cooking process, saving much time. When it comes to cleaning these small appliances, there are some basic using tips and guidelines that you can follow.

Read The Manual

First, you need to read its manual, because this can save you much time on avoid much grief. Read the manual thoroughly, and you will know all the specific maintenance instructions and what’s important, you can know where all its components are at. If you don’t have a clear picture of these components, talking about cleaning them is meaningless. On the manual, you also need to pay attention to its warranty. Therefore, take a little time to read its manually, and then file the manually away somewhere. Sometimes, we need it later. If you find the manual is long gone, it can be probably found on the manufacturer’s official site. Use the model name and number to search on the manufacturer’s site, or just search it on Google. For example, if you need a refresher on how to clean a countertop water distiller, you can find it on the manufacturer’s site and there may be a guide for you to down load. The guide will tell you how to use a cleaner.

Start With Mild Cleaning

For any appliance, it is highly recommended to start with mild cleaning instead of starting tougher cleaning methods. If the mild cleaning is not effective, tougher cleaning methods are needed, if possible. When it comes to most small kitchen appliances, you can use warm water and mild dish soap to clean them and this method is sufficient to clean most messes. Of course, microfiber cleaning cloths are perfect for removing grease and dirt. Any harsher cleaners should be avoided, because they can easily damage the finish. In some cases, they can cause fatal damage to your appliances. Therefore, you need to be more careful.

Unplug the Appliance When Cleaning

Before cleaning your appliances, make sure you have unplugged the appliances, because safety is always the first consideration. For example, if you happen to forget to unplug a food processor and begin to wipe it down, you hand may accidentally start it by pushing its button. If you are just cleaning its blade, it will be very dangerous. Therefore, don’t forget this alert. Before any cleaning job, just unplug the appliance. Don’t risk the appliance or your safety. This is very important.

Avoid immersing Electrical Components

For most kitchen appliances, the electrical portion of the appliance should not be immersed into water or you also cannot use wet clothes to wipe it. This is because these electrical portions (like motors, integrated circuits, sensors etc.) will be ruined if immersed into water or they are wet. What’s worse, this may make you take a risk of electrocution. Therefore, when you need to clean these parts, you need to be more careful and you need to cost more time to clean them carefully. In most situations, wiping down is the only and the best way to clean these small kitchen appliances. This can ensure both the safety and the function.

Check Electrical Cords

Appliances are powered by electricity, so most of them have electric cords. Therefore, no matter which appliance you have, checking their electrical cords is essential. If there is any damage, you should repair it or replace a new one. When cleaning your appliances, you need to wipe the cord down at the same time. This can effectively prevent buildup of grease and dirt. And during the cleaning process, it is really a good chance to inspect. Damaged cords can cause accidents or even electrocution.

8 Ways to Save on New Appliances

Bizerba-Automatic-Commercial-Safety-SlicerYou may think new appliances tend to be costly. However, if you know these 8 ways, you can know how to shop for them without cost much. These 8 tips can help you save some money when it comes to buying new appliances.

Never Buy The Latest Model but the Last Year’s

Most time this year’s model is only a little different from the last year’s model. Therefore, it is good way to save money if you choose to buy last year’s model. This can help you save several hundred of dollars on some large appliances, like convection ovens, Gas FurnacesMeat Slicers. However, if you mind this, you can choose the latest style but cost much more. The best time to buy these last year’s models is in September and October, because many stores begin to deal with their old stock to clear space for the latest models for the next year.

Shop Appliances with Small Scratch and Dents

If your budget is an issue, a small dent or scratch will be your best friend. When you shop, you can ask the sales associate whether there are some damaged appliances for sale. And then, you need to assess these defects and decide whether you would like to live with. Some appliances only have the smallest blemish, but if you buy them, you can save more than you can imagine. And these blemishes don’t influence their core function. These dents and scratch can save you more.

Forget Fancy Features but Buy What You Really Need

When we go into a store, we will become not rational. We will be attracted by these fancy features and pay much more on these fancy features. Therefore, before coming into a store, we need to know what we really need. The best way is to make a list and go directly to buy these appliances with essential features that we need. We need to prevent ourselves from falling for these fancy features. Or you will regret buying these useless latest bells and whistles. For example, if you want to buy a refrigerator, those with a built-in TV are not helpful to make our food any fresher and colder, but you need to pay more on this useless feature.

Do a Trade-In

If you plan to buy a new car, it is good way to trade in your current car and this can save more money. However, do you know you also can trade in your appliances to save money? You can ask appliance dealers to know whether they accept trade-ins. If the news is good, you need to know how much your appliance is worth. Just remember, this can help you make savings.

Shop the Sales

Sometimes, we find something we are interested, but we are thrilled by its current price. Sometimes, you just need to wait one or two weeks after your pick is on sale, and this can help you save up to 25%.

A Package Deal can Save More

If you have a new kitchen or you just upgrade your current kitchen and want to replace all the appliances, it is a good way to think about an appliance package. For example, you need to buy a convection oven, a refrigerator, a reverse osmosis system, a coffee maker and other more items, why not buy them together? If you buy them separately, you may cannot get any savings. However, if you buy them in a package deal, you can save more than you can think. It is not difficult to find a package deal, because retailers tend to bundle appliances to boost sales. You can ask a retailer whether there is a package deal.

Choose a Floor Model to Purchase

If you don’t mind your new appliance doesn’t come with a box, you can buy a floor model. Of course, you can get the same warranty as a new one with a box. However, without the box, you can save a lot but only sacrifice a little cardboard.

Buy Used or Second-hand

Sometimes, new appliances really are costly. Well, do you even consider to see whether the one you plan to buy is available on Craigslist? People tend to remove like-new appliances because of moving or remodeling. And these like-new used appliances can save much for you. One thing you need to notice is that used appliances don’t offer a warranty, but you can get at a very low price. Therefore, it is worth the gamble.

What Is Convection Cooking?

Euro-Pro-TO251-Convection-6-Slice-Toaster-Oven-with-Pizza-PanMany cooks rely on their convection ovens and they roast or bake every in a convection oven. Well, what’s difference between a convection oven and a regular oven? Generally, a convection oven has its fan and exhaust system which can blow hot air directly on the food and vent the air back out.

The convection effect may a little complicate to understand. Now, let’s think about it as the wind chill on a cold day. On a cold day, if you just need to go out. If cold wind is blowing on you, you will feel a little chiller than if there is no wind.

Now, let’s talk about the convection inside the oven and this example can explain how it works. Suppose you have a regular oven and you just need to bake dinner rolls. In your oven, there are 3 racks of dinner rolls which are all in the same size. The dinner rolls on the bottom which are next to the heating element will brown quickly. As the heat rises, above 2 racks will also brows later. However, you will notice that the dinner rolls in the middle will cook more evenly than other 2 racks on the top and on the bottom.

However, if you have a convection oven that uses a built-in fan to circulate hot air quickly around or across these dinner rolls, all the rolls will cook evenly and brown that the same time. This is different from a regular oven. And the cooking time is also less than in a regular oven. It is estimated that convection cooking only takes about 3/4 the time of standard cooking. That’s why so many cooks love using a convection oven.

How Convection Ovens Work

Generally, a high quality oven has 3 heating elements: the top, on the bottom and on the rear and it also has a built-in fan that is connected to the rear heating element. As the convection oven pulls outside air in, the air will be heated immediately and circulated. If you cook poultry and meats in the convection oven, you will find it will offer you amazingly perfect browning and even cooking. And you also don’t worry about the loss of meat’s moisture, because the moisture can be retained well.

If you bake something in it, the results will be much better, like dinner rolls, bread, etc. The airflow will quickly draw the moisture out from cookies, bakes and breads. Therefore, you will get more even baking and perfect texture: crisp pastries, flaky crusts, and light, fluffy croissants.

Therefore, if you just need to buy a new convection oven, the one you choose should have 3 heating elements.

If the number is less than 3, you will not get the same results at one with 3 heating elements.

Besides the benefits of cooking foods, convection ovens can also save energy for you, since it doesn’t need a high temperature to work.

When to Use

Although a convection oven offers the even distribution of heat as well as continuous hot air, you may need to rely on the regular setting. This means in some situations, convection heating is not suitable. For example, if you want to bake some liquids into solids, convection is useless. The hot air that blows on these dishes will not create even or lumpy cooking results.

If you cook a covered dish in an oven, the convection is also useless. The hot air is not directly blowing on the dishes but the cookware or bakeware, so it doesn’t change the cooking results.

Best Convection Oven

If you are looking for the best convection oven, we have made a list for you.

And we also made some lists of other ovens for you to choose from.

How to Care for Nonstick Cookware

nonstick-cookwareIf you want to produce chef-quality results in your kitchen, nonstick bakeware and nonstick cookware can help. However, we need to take good care of them to extend their lifetime. Of course, you can check with the manufacturer’s specific recommendation. Here, we also list some general rules to care for your nonstick cookware, making it always deliver top performance.

Cooking and Baking

After purchasing your new cookware and before using it, it is highly recommended washing it with hot and soapy water, and then rinsing it well, and then using a soft linen towel or cotton to dry it thoroughly. This can get rid of contaminants on the surface, like dust, oil, non-stick coating, etc.

It is said that seasoning or conditioning the nonstick pan at the first time can ensure its performance. You can coat its surface with a little cooking oil (any type is OK), and then bake the pan, and then wipe it clean. The process is very simple and easy to operate. However, some manufacturers, like Calphalon, say nonstick cookware doesn’t need any seasoning or conditioning. In my opinion, you can have a try. At least, there is no harm.

Compared with standard cookware, nonstick cookware performs better at a lower temperature. Well, how low the temperature should be perfect? A test called “butter test” can help you to find the perfect settings. First, heat the nonstick pan on medium high. Once you feel its rim is hot to touch, you need to add a pat of butter. And then watch the reaction. If the butter bubbles, the current heat setting is right. On the other hand, if the butter quickly burns and finally burns, this means the heat is high. You need to clean your pan and repeat the test at a lower heat setting.

The reason we need nonstick cookware is that it can help release the food cleanly without adding any oil or butter, making our food much healthier. For good tasting and texture, you can add some fats. If you are caring your cholesterol levels or weight, nonstick cookware can do the job. And if you are following a heart-healthy menu, it also helps.

On the market, there are many fat-free cooking sprays with the help of nonstick cookware. And you don’t need to add any fat or calorie to your food. For example, when you fry eggs, you don’t need to add any oil. That’s very cool.

As for nonstick cookware, the most important rule is to try your best to protect its nonstick surface. If the nonstick coating is damaged by metal utensils or cleaners, the nonstick cookware will be useless.

Instead of metal utensils, you can choose utensils made of plastic, wood, silicone or rubber. You also can use utensils that are specially coated for nonstick surface. Of course, the better you protect its surface, the better performance it will deliver.

And, never over heat a nonstick pan. For example, never use a pan to bake or under the broiler at temperatures over 450 degrees. The higher temperature will ruin the coating materials.

Cleaning and Care

  1. Wash thoroughly: To ensure the consistent, top performance, always keep the nonstick cookware clean. Leftover greases and other food residue will easily cook into its surface and carbonize, resulting in food to stick. It is very hard to see the cooked-on residue and it is also difficult to remove. Therefore, each time, you need to wash your nonstick cookware thoroughly, making sure there is not any food residue.Avoid immerse hot cookware in cold water: It is highly recommended letting the hot cookware cool before immerse it into cold water to wash. Or a hot pan will permanently warp in cool water and finally ruin.
  2. Not Dishwasher Safe: If you have a dishwasher, you may think you can put your nonstick pans or pots into it to wash. However, you’d better not to do this and always wash your nonstick cookware by hand with warm and soapy water. Of course, you can choose a dish detergent that is made for hand washing. The high heat of a dishwasher can ruin the cookware’s surface, and this can also make the warranty invalid. Similar to care for stainless cookware, any harsh agent should be avoided using. These harsh cleaning agents include abrasive cleaners, bleach, or other chemicals.
  3. Not use Abrasives: Although it seems these nonstick pots and pans are fragile and we need to take good care of them, we also can scrub off stubborn messes with the help of a washcloth, nylon scrubber, sponge, or nylon net-wrapped sponge. And the cleaning job is very hard. To prevent food residue from carbonizing, it is recommended to wash your cookware twice and make sure last trace of oil, butter or food is removed. Abrasives are not allowed to use. For example, if you use stiff brushes, steel wool or scouring pads, the surface will be scratched. Finally your nonstick cookware will be ruined. Of course, rinse it thoroughly and dry your pots or pads completely before storing.
  4. Proper Storage: In the end, storage is also very important. Many manufacturers advice to store the cookware on a hanging pot rack and there are enough room between 2 items which are next to each other. If you don’t have a hanging rack, you can store your nonstick cookware in your cabinet and you’d better layer a soft cloth under it. This can prevent the cookware from being scratched by bare metal or other hard materials.


No matter you have a bargain nonstick pan or a high quality set of nonstick cookware, it is a good habit to use it carefully, clean it meticulously and store it properly. This can extend the lifespan and you can always get top performance for your nonstick cookware.

How to Clean & Care for Stainless Steel Cookware

old-cookwareIn our kitchens, there are so many stainless steel cookware. However, if we don’t take good care of our cookware, stains and discolorations are inevitable. Therefore, how to clean & care for our stainless steel cookware really matters. Just with a little care, you can avoid these problems. The following tips can help you know how to effectively clean your stainless steel cookware. Of course, these tips can also be useful for other stainless steel appliances, like water distillers, etc.

General Daily Care

The best way to take good care of your cookware on a regular basis is to wash it by hand in hot, soapy water. After that, you need to use a soft cloth to thoroughly dry it before put your cookware in your cabinet to store.

If you use a dishwasher to clean your cookware, some experts think the detergents may be not effective to clean the stainless steel finishes. Therefore, it is recommended drying it by hand after removing it from your dishwasher. And this can effectively avoid spotting.

Getting Rid of Stains

If the tap water in your house is a little hard (contains much more calcium content), you will find there is noticeable chalky white residue on your cookware. If the tap water or well water is very hard, you need to have a water softener to soften your water.

To get rid of stains on your pan or pot, you just need to fill it with vinegar and water. The ratio is 1:3. And then heat the mixture to boil, and then let it cool. The last step is to wash it thoroughly with hot and soapy water. Of course, you need to dry it before storing.

To get rid of burned-on food, just fill your stainless steel pan with enough warm, soapy water. The water should cover the mess. And let it soak for at least 1 hour. And then heat the pan or pot to boil for about 10 to 15 minutes. After that, wait it to cool. And then use a nylon scouring pad to scrub it. In the end, wash it with hot, soapy water. After rising and drying it, you can find a place to store it. If the residue is very stubborn and you cannot completely clean the mess at one time, you can repeat these steps, until the mess is completely removed.

For daily general cleaning, it is highly recommended using a non-abrasive cleaner. And this is also good for stain removal. Your cookware will become shiny again. Of course, abrasive cleaners and metal scouring pads are not allowed to clean stainless steel cookware. This is because metal scouring pads can scratch the finish, reducing its corrosion resistance. And abrasive cleaners will destroy its finish. Although they are good at removing stuck-on food, they will scratch the finish of the cookware. Therefore, you can use nylon scouring pads, nylon or plastic brushes instead of metal scouring pads.

However, avoid using ammonia-based and chlorine cleaners, because they are corrosive.

Final Suggestion

If you want to bring back the brand-new shine that a new cookware has, first wet the surface, and then sprinkle on a small amount of baking soda. Use a synthetic scouring pad to rub the cookware gently. And you also can use a Scotch-Brite green pad instead. And then rinse the cookware. Finally, dry it before storing. To remove fingerprints on it, you can use glass cleaner, a soft cloth or a paper towel to do the job. If there are a few minor scratches on the surface, you can use a paste of water and a non-abrasive cleaner to buff out these minor scratches.

Daily cleaning and care can extend the lifetime of your cookware. And if you use the methods above, you can make it look as shiny as new.

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