Metro Guys – In the Kitchen and the Bathroom

Panasonic es8243a electric shaverAlmost all of the articles on this site are about kitchens and cooking – my passion! However, allow me to digress and talk about my other current obsession: a trim beard. I’ve been growing a beard for a while now and although it took far longer than I expected, I’m now pleased with the result… but it takes a lot of effort to keep it trim and neat.

I’ve looked at a couple of beard trimmers, but check out this site for reviews of the five major beard trimmer manufacturers (Braun, Panasonic, Philips, Remington, and Wahl) who between them produce literally dozens of models of electric shavers and trimmers. Don’t just think you’re getting a trimmer: many advanced models provide a traditional wet shave, vacuum the hair clippings and keep your beard trim.

It’s not easy to choose between the models, so read the latest reviews of electric shavers to help you find which is the best for you and your needs.

If you’re looking for a specific model or want features that will deal with your moustache, then it’s worth taking a look at TheTrimBeard.com which has guides to the best shavers designed for beards, mustaches and body grooming.

How to choose the best kitchen knives

kitchen knifesChoosing kitchen knives can be a difficult task, with many stores simply offering boxed knife sets or knives that cannot be held before purchase. Many home cooks find this to be one of the major problems in buying a kitchen knife as the user must be comfortable when using the knife, meaning the feel in their hand is the main source of information about the quality and choice of the correct knife.

Technology has made the choice of knives far greater than it was in the past, modern cooks now have a wide variety of choices in price, size, weight and construction methods when choosing their perfect kitchen cutting partner. Understanding the differences in construction and the different styles is key in making an informed decision about which knife to buy.

Despite needing to know the differences between each knife style the most important factor when purchasing a knife is to feel comfortable in using the chosen knife. Each cook has different ideas and needs in their knife, size and weight often play a key role in choosing a new kitchen knife.

Construction: the parts of a knife

Modern kitchen knives are constructed using three distinct methods, which are forging, sintering and block manufacturing. Forged knives are usually seen as the best quality as they are pounded into shape using hot metal and high pressure construction techniques, but these are also the most expensive knives. The cheapest option is to purchase a knife using block construction, when the metal is ground into shape from a single piece of metal, this usually gives the lowest quality blade and complete knife construction. Sintering is often used to construct knives in the eastern style, where a blade is constructed and welded onto the tang that connects blade to handle and provides a middle price point.

Buying a kitchen knife: What to look for

When purchasing kitchen knives it is important to determine which size of blade and handle feels comfortable for the user. A general rule of thumb is that larger knives of ten inches or so are better suited to those with larger and stronger hands, those with smaller hands often feel more comfortable with an eight or six inch knife. Holding a kitchen knife and playing on a cutting surface with it is often the only way of knowing how the knife feels to the individual cook.

One term often used with kitchen knives is balance, celebrity chefs often refer to balance being the most important point in choosing a knife. This term refers to how the knife feels in the hands of the cook, whether the knife feels heavy at a certain end and difficult to use. This is all part of the individual feeling of kitchen knives, with each individual needing to feel comfortable in holding and using the knife they choose.

Buying a kitchen knife is an individual process, with no two cooks sharing the exact same ideas about a kitchen knife. The need to feel comfortable with a knife should overcome all other concerns, with the chosen knives being those that are the simplest for the individual cook to use.

How To Choose A New Kitchen Appliance

The renovation of a kitchen takes a planning. Choosing paint, tiles, and other things takes time. Among these decisions is picking kitchen appliances. Buying the right appliances coincides with a multitude of factors. Will it suit the kitchen’s needs? Will it fit the theme of the kitchen? Will it fit the budget? With so many things to consider, it can be overwhelming. However there are easy places to start.

Functionality

The number one priority when choosing a new kitchen appliance is functionality. Beyond the basic functions of the appliance, there are many extra features to consider. A coffee pot that automatically brews at certain times may appeal more to those on a tight schedule than those who rarely make coffee. A toaster oven that can broil is useful to the casual chef and a waste to those who only want toast. Buying an appliance that does more or less than you need is a waste of money. Smart shopping and in depth research of your specific desires will save time and spare frustration. Think ahead and don’t fall prey to useless features or over designed products. Outline your needs. Paying attention to the reviews, match your needs to a product. Buy it. Avoid the advertized glamour.

Style

Improving the kitchen starts with style. From bright matching colors to the always tasteful look of stainless steel, every renovated kitchen has a theme behind it. This may not be the driving force behind deciding on what to buy, but it cannot be neglected. Searching for a certain style will narrow ones choices. Sticking to only to one brand reduces choices further. A sleek and streamlined stand mixer is more likely to catch a buyer’s eye. The look of a stainless steel mixer may be closer to the design lay out than a plastic stand mixer. However there are more plastic stand mixers available than metal cast ones. Sacrificing style for availability may be worth the finished kitchen.

Price

With style comes price and price is a major factor in choosing a new appliance. An oven with everything you want may lack a matching price tag. For example, the brand also matters; KitchenAid, Frigidaire, and Electrolux are only a few of the possibilities. While the price of these brands vary from economical to exorbitant, money does not always equal quality. Manufacturers often play off this perception to inflate the prices of their products. Do not be afraid to buy a cheaper product if the reviews praise its quality. Balancing price and quality is a must.

Shopping for new appliances can be difficult combined with the stress of handling a renovation. Whether online or even in-store, it’s easy to pick something simply because it’s the most expensive, has the most features, or looks the prettiest. While having a balance of all three may seem impossible, keeping them in mind pays off with a tasteful, affordable, and functional kitchen.

Kitchen Appliances – Garbage Disposers

waste king l-8000 garbage disposal unitThere are millions of homes in the UK, US and Canada fitted with a garbage disposal unit. It’s hardly surprising that these hidden kitchen appliances are so popular: they are convenient, labor-saving devices that are easy to install and very easy to use.

If your home already has a disposer and you’re looking for a replacement (perhaps the current model isn’t powerful enough or it’s broken) and you’re looking for the best range of garbage disposal reviews to help make the best buying choice, check out some of the specialist websites.

Although there are just a half-dozen main brands in the market, each produces dozens of different models. So with so many different garbage disposals available on the market, it can be difficult to choose the one that’s right for your home at the best price.

Of the main brands, the two leading names are InSinkErator and Waste King. These two companies produce probably the most popular models on the market (Amazon lists the Waste King L-8000 as its #1 bestselling model).

The different models available have various horsepower ratings, features and sizes. Unless you’ve spoken to a plumber or you are simply replacing an existing model like-for-like, then you’ll probably find it easier to use a feature grid to help you determine the model you need quickly and easily – you’ll find a comparison chart at http://garbagedisposal-review.net and it lets you compare and sort the features to choose the model you need.

Before you make the final choice of disposer, check out the reviews on some of the specialist sites, read the customer opinions and guides from experts before you look for the best prices online.

Planning Your Kitchen Layout

When planning the layout of a kitchen there are many variables to keep in mind. It seems like a simple process, and it is, so long as it is planned out thoughtfully, with careful consideration as to how the space will be used. What items are used most often? Should cleaning products and food be stored together? How much space is available? By keeping these, and other variables in mind, it will be very easy to create a kitchen that is enjoyable to work in.

Kitchen Storage

The first thing to consider is the amount of storage space available. If there is a lot of cupboard space in the kitchen, hanging things on the wall is probably not necessary. If you have a limited amount of cupboard space, you may want to consider purchasing a “gadget grid” or similar item. By hanging items such as measuring spoons, ladles, and pans, you’ll save room in your cupboards.The next thing to consider is what all actually needs to be stored in the kitchen, and what can be stored elsewhere. If there is an appliance that is only used once a year, perhaps a dehydrator or something similar, this can be stored in a closet in another room. If the kitchen is regularly used for baking, a stand mixer might find its place on a cupboard, rather than stowed away. If you are someone who doesn’t cook much, the microwave should take a place of prominence. By taking careful consideration of how often something is used, a kitchen will be better organized, and more usable.

Additionally, take into consideration where things are suited to be stored. Its much easier to store cutlery in a shallow drawer than it is to put pots there. If there is a drawer under the oven, this is a great place for baking sheets, bread pans, and the like. A cupboard dedicated to plastic ware and other such containers makes it easier to find the matching lids. Consider keeping things together that go together, so if a lid is needed, the matching pot is easily found. Also remember to keep items separate that need to be. Storing food with cleaning chemicals could lead to problems, and if children or pets are present, storing these chemicals on a low shelf could also be hazardous.

Budgets

kitchen appliance budget and costTaking on a kitchen redesign is not to be under-estimated! Maybe you’re just redesigning a couple of things – the cupboards and counter-tops maybe – or tackling the whole room. Whatever the scope, it’s a major time and cost investment, especially if you don’t budget or plan before you start knocking down existing structures. 

First, you need to know how much you have to spend on the remodel. You can find a helpful budget worksheet on The National Association of the Remodelling Industry‘s website. Budgeting is never easy and any sort of renovation often has a way of exceeding the original budget. But if you spend some time planning and setting out your priorities, you can create an effective budget for the work.

Conclusion

The most important thing to remember about creating a kitchen space that is wonderful to work in, is to plan. Create a plan before starting, make sure everything has a space that makes sense, and consider clearing space in the kitchen by utilizing walls for frequently used items, and closets in other rooms for rarely used items. Taking all things into consideration, planning a usable kitchen layout is simple, especially when appropriate thought is put into the creation of the plan.