When picking the proper blender there are a few things to consider: price, durability, and practicality. Blender prices generally run anywhere from $15-$400. Most quality blenders' prices will range from $40-$70. In addition, there are a few things to consider when analyzing the potential durability of a blender. The first thing is the composition of the jar. Many people prefer a glass jar because it resists scratches better than plastic jars. Many might avoid them because glass can crack. However, generally speaking, the glass jars are very thick and will probably be more durable than plastic which can also crack. The base of the blender should also be considered. Some blenders have a metal base. However, there are many plastic bases which can be very durable as well. Comparing warranties can also be beneficial. One of the more important aspects of a blender's practicality is how easy it is to clean. Blenders generally come with one of four different ways to operate it: a single switch, a dial, push buttons, or "touch pad" buttons. The easiest to clean are those with the touch pad buttons because you can just wipe right over the pad. The push buttons are generally the hardest to clean because they protrude so much from the surface of the blender and moisture can get in from the space around each button. The switch and the dial are equally easy. A removable blade also makes cleanup a whole lot easier. There are a few high end blenders that reach prices of $400. That might be a little overkill for most people however, if you use your blender every day and you like to blend things that are normally a little tough on regular blenders (e.g. ice, whole vegetables or fruit) a higher priced blender might be a good investment if a reliable review tells you that it is worth the price.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Consumer Reports
  3. Consumer Search

Cooktop Ovens

In the modern world of kitchen appliances, the old fashioned metal coil stoves are outdated. Replacing these stoves are the cook-top ovens of the future. While one can still purchase an electric powered metal coil stove, they are inefficient when it comes to cooking and therefore less conservative in terms of energy use.

The modern cook-top ovens range from top of the line induction heated stoves, to electric glass covered stoves, and even gas powered cook-tops. The gas powered cook-tops are favored b/c of their quick heating times, while the electric stoves are favored for being a little more economical. However, the induction cook-top stoves, as found on the General Electric Co. website, combine the best of both worlds. When one begins shopping for a cook-top oven it is best to do research and decide which one would be best. A budget is recommended by the Consumer Guide website. They suggest this will help in the process. Another important factor is the size of the oven and the location in the kitchen. After these plans are made, the functional ability of one’s desired oven will need to be decided (

If one is into being conscience of the environment and energy efficiency, then an induction cook-top oven is the best option. The new technology transfers heat directly into the pan only. This saves a huge amount of energy when compared with other heating options such as gas powered stoves (

products/introductions/induction_cooktops/how.htm). Why should one care about saving energy? “The more energy efficient an appliance is, the less it costs to run, and the lower your utility bills. Using less energy is also good for the environment. It can reduce air pollution and help conserve natural resources” ( However, these will cost more than a normal electric powered cook-top oven or a gas-powered cook-top oven.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Induction Cooktops
  3. to buy an energy - efficient home appliance


Kitchen cutlery can be purchased in two different ways: individually or in sets. Although to buy knives individually it may be expensive, buying a cutlery set may sacrifice quality for quantity. Recently, the Japanese santoku knife has been gaining popularity. Chef’s knives are also very popular. Unfortunately, many of the best reviews on knives come from Cook’s Illustrated, Cook’s Country and Consumer Reports, which pages are only available to paying subscribers. These sites give pricing information and details where to buy certain products. The sites do not just claim something is good, they gives a reason for the choice. They are all user-friendly and eye appealing. In buying cutlery, it is good to purchase from stores with a great return policy.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Consumer Guide: Cutlery Product Reviews
  2. ConsumerSearch Kitchen Knives: Best Kitchen Knives, Kitchen Cutlery Sets
  3. Knife Reviews – Reviews of Kitchen Cutlery Knives

Electric Grills

When shopping for electric grills, the two main features that need to be considered are size and preference. Almost always, a gas grill cooks the best, and is much easier to clean up. It also has the benefit of having its own space outside, whilst an electric grill has to remain in the confines of the kitchen.

The size of the grill and its functionality make the difference when choosing between various models and brands. Some grills can be closed, ensuring faster cooking times, while others do not close but have a large cooking surface, allowing more food to be cooked, but also means cooking time runs a few minutes longer. The best grills provide both, and are most versatile. However, they are more expensive.

Other features like indicator lights, removable grill plates, and drip collectors are the finishing touches that add to a grill's user-friendliness. Many sources claim that the Cuisinart Griddler GR-4 is the best of best. It provides versatility in its ability to convert from flat surface to folding. It doubles as a grill or griddle, yet can convert to a Panini maker. As an added touch, it has indicator lights on it, removable grill plates for easy cleaning, and is the best looking of the bunch, easily defeating the George Foreman line with its stylish brushed aluminum case, large knobs resembling the knobs of a real kitchen range, and solid weight. It can also hold its weight in cooking food. It is large enough to cook four quarter pound hamburgers in Panini mode, yet can accompany eggs and pancakes while in griddle mode (with its accompanying flat plates). The Cuisinart easily defeats George Foreman, Sanyo, and HamiltonBeach counterparts.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Consumer Search
  2. How Stuff Works
  3. Consumer Reports

Food Mixers

My project was to research food mixers. This subject must be divided into two sections, standing mixers and hand mixers. Standing mixers are mostly used for things like whipping cream or egg whites, mixing cake batter and cookie dough, and kneading bread dough. These range in price from about $40 to $400. Hand mixers are used for things like whipping cream or egg whites, mixing cake batter, and mashing potatoes. These are not as good as stand mixers for some heavy duty tasks like mixing bread dough. These range in price from about $10 to $75.

The best way to decide on a mixer is to look at the way you cook. The wide range of mixers can vary in power and the number of possible speeds. For someone who makes a lot of baked goods it may be very worthwhile to invest in a high power stand mixer, which can easily mix and knead bread dough. For someone who just has light uses like whipping cream or egg whites a hand mixer will do.

One factor to consider is speed settings. Although there are mixers with up to 16 speeds, Consumer Reports said that three speeds are usually plenty as long as they are well differentiated. The hand mixers that were rated the best performing by Consumer Reports were the ones with wire beaters. Size and weight should be considered when buying a hand mixer. These should also be well balanced.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Home Institute
  2. Consumer Reports
  3. Consumer Search

Food Packaging Devices

The home food packaging industry is dominated by three main categories. Each of the categories has separate advantages and disadvantages and caters to a different segment of the food packaging market. When considering which to buy, the most applicable questions are safety (germ protection), economics (prices), and convenience.

The websites listed provide information on the most complex packaging devices—food sealers. These machines constitute such a small subsection of one of the three most popular food packaging methods but are the most complicated for the consumer. Among the three most ubiquitous methods of packaging food are flat-wrap, bags, and rigid containers.

The first category is flat-wrap, dominated by the aluminum foil and saran wrap products. Both serve essentially the same function—wrapping the food on the original plate. The main advantages to the saran wrap or aluminum foil is the ease of use. However, these methods can create problems as they do not provide the air-tight seal of the other methods of containment. Additionally, the saran wrap and aluminum foil are not reusable, so they must be continually replenished. This means the lower price tag is not necessarily the true price. Varying on the brand name, a roll of either is in the price range of $2- $4 dollars.

The second category is bags. Paper bags have a very poor seal, and cannot be used for wet foods. Plastic bags are simple, but not reusable and are not as suitable for packaging food. A new category of bags has entered the scene with vacuum bags, but currently the price of the bags, and vacuum device prohibits the bags from being an economically feasible food packaging option for the home.

The third and most effective way of packaging food at home is rigid plastic containers. The plastic containers seal air-tight, increasing the freshness of the food, and can hold wet or dry food. This provides maximum germ protection. Most popular among the rigid plastic containers is Tupperware, named after a specific company which holds a commanding market share. Rigid, plastic containers are the most superior method of home food packaging because of the containers’ safety, reusability, and convenience. Rigid, plastic containers are the most economical choice because they are an investment. Unlike all other packaging methods, the rigid plastic containers are reusable and can save money to the consumer.

Top Online Resources:

  1. FoodSaver, America's #1 Selling Brand of Home Vacuum Packaging Systems
  2. Specialty Kitchen Appliances
  3. FoodSaver Reviews

Food Processors and Choppers

The purpose of this research is to help guide consumers in their efforts to purchase, quality, affordable kitchen appliances. I am focusing on the appliances of food processors and choppers. There are many different companies that manufacture these products so it is important for a consumer to find the one which best fits their needs. Certain consumers may be looking for the absolute best quality processor, whereas another consumer might be looking for an average chopper for a low price. The 3 sites that I have chosen give good information to help make an informed decision when it comes to buying a food processor or chopper as a kitchen appliance. A few of the different aspects that should be looked at closely when purchasing one of these items or the following: 1, Capacity (size); 2, Countertop size; 3, Price; and 4, Feed tube size. There are many other options available from the various brands. I hope that my research will be able to guide consumers in the right direction to find exactly what they are looking for.

Top Online Resources:

  1. - Food processors & choppers 12/06: Ratings, Recommendations
  2. Food processors choppers - Food Processors - BizRate - Compare prices, reviews & buy - Price - Review

Food Toasters

Eighty-eight percent of American homes host a food toaster. The first toaster, invented in the early 1900's, would only toast one side of bread at a time and contained no timing device. The sophisticated perfect-browning (without watching) machines that we are accustomed to today trace their earliest ancestors back to 1919, gaining in popularity over the next decade until they reached their current common place in the American kitchen. But, how does one go about purchasing a "good" food toaster?

Before purchasing a food toaster, you will first want to understand the workings of Toasters. Toasters are fairly simple mechanical devices. Two mica sheets are wrapped with nichrome wire to create infrared light, which will toast your food when energy is supplied via plugging the machine into an electrical outlet. This much is common throughout nearly all food toasters.

The primary consideration when looking for a good pop-up food toaster is the timing mechanism. Two timing mechanisms are most commonly used in food toasters. The oldest or cheapest toaster will use a bi-metallic strip to time when your bread is done. This is not preferable, because the brown of your toast will vary depending on the temperature of your kitchen and whether it is the first or fifth piece of toast cooked. Preference in choosing toasters should be given to pop-up food toasters using a circuit board.

Top Online Resources:

  1. How Toasters Work
  2. Toaster
  3. The Cyber Toaster Museum


The main function of freezers, regardless of the size, is to keep food frozen in order to keep it unspoiled for longer. According to, freezers can range in price from $140 to $171,230. The freezers can range in holding capacity from 39 to 1100 lbs. In purchasing a freezer, several factors should be looked at. One is size—is the freezer going to keep a few things cold at work, or is it going to keep multiple food items cold at a grocery store? Regardless of the size, a freezer will be most efficient if it is full of food. Since a freezer must be defrosted periodically, a consumer also has the option of purchasing a self-defrosting or a manual defrosting freezer, with a self-defrosting freezer offering convenience at a typically higher price, and a manual defrosting freezer costing less while requiring manual defrosting. Freezers come in two styles in regard to space availability: upright and chest. Upright freezers take less floor space and look similar to regular refrigerators; while chest freezers require more spaces and are better able to keep food colder for longer (the heavy door on top and the structure of the freezer keeps more cold air in). Organization preference can impact a purchase decision—upright freezers tend to be more organized, since they come with shelves. Chest freezers can come with shelves, but typically they do not.

Experts have given a few tips of what to look for in any freezer. One thing to look for is a temperature control gauge so that consumers can know that their food is being kept cold enough; most freezers already come with this feature. A lock is especially important for families with small children. An interior light will assist consumers in finding their food in the dark abyss of their freezer, and a power light can help consumers recognize if their freezer has been shut off, in which case their food will be safe for 48 hours. These sites present the information that will assist you in your research, choosing, and purchasing of the right freezer based on your needs.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Freezer Reviews: Freezers, Chest Freezers, Upright Freezers
  2. - Freezers: Buyer's guide Freezers - Major Appliances

Garbage Disposals

The main subject of this research is to have access to the right information on which garbage disposals are the best and worst quality and which are the best for the money, along with general info on how they differ from brand to brand in characteristics. Buying a garbage disposal can be an interesting and positive consumer experience if done through the right vehicles. These websites allow the consumer to know all of the facts about all brands and types of disposals before making their purchase.

There are many characteristics of a garbage disposal that should be taken into account before making a purchase. Some of these are the time it takes to grind and dispose of waste, the amount of noise that the disposal makes, the amount of power in the system in order to break through clogs, and for some people, the appearance of the disposal itself. All of these characteristics can be very important when deciding what garbage disposal to buy and that is why having access to accurate and consumer friendly information makes a world of difference in the purchasing process.

Top Online Resources:

  1. AOL Shopping
  2. Lowe's

Ice Cream Makers

The world of Ice Cream makers is a complex one, but when you are dealing with the world's favorite dessert, mistakes are out of the question. These apparatuses range from old fashion hand-crank makers to high powered motorized industrial strength machines. The procedure of ice cream making, one way or another, deals with churning a cream or flavored solution while it is cooled. Personalized ice cream makers allow delicious ice cream to be made from the comfort of your own home. You can control the flavors, ingredients, and preservatives. For individuals or families who eat a lot of ice cream, a home-made maker could save a lot of money and allow for a healthier treat. With a personal ice cream maker, fat and sugar content can be greatly reduced.

When looking into the purchase of an ice cream maker, there are many things you may want to consider. These machines come in all different shapes and sizes. Brand, motor strength/speed, and bowl size are all things to carefully consider. In many cases, dishwasher safe machines can save time and effort. You may also want to consider you time schedule. Is making homemade ice cream something you would do occasionally as a fun activity (when you want to be involved in the creation)? Or are you looking to make a large quantity to feed impatient children? These circumstances may influence your decision. I suggest trying to imagine the situations in which you would use the machine; this will greatly aid you in the buying process. For additional information and comparisons, I highly recommend these three websites.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Consumer Search
  2. Epinions
  3. Answers

Ice Makers/Crushers

I was assigned Ice makers/crushers. It was very interesting to look at the differences in ice makers, especially since we never had one in my family until just a few years ago.

There are a few different types of ice makers/crushers. The most common are the ones that come inside a refrigerator. The second most common kind is big ice makers that look like a freezer or something like that. They are huge. When looking for an ice maker, it is important to know what you are looking for. If you own a business, the big one would probably work better because they are made to make a lot of ice. It is also important to know how much ice you will need and how much you will need to store. There are kinds that make square or round ice cubes and little ones in balls. As the consumer, you need to know which type is the kind that you need. It all just depends on the kind of use you will make out of it.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Compact Appliance
  2. US Appliance
  3. Manitowoc Ice Machines

Microwave Ovens

In the last 20 years, microwave ovens have ceased to be a luxury and proven to be a necessity in the home. They now come standard in every new home and a new microwave can be listed as a definite plus in an older home. They have changed the way many Americans eat and prepare their dinners.

The websites that I have found on consumer purchasing of microwave ovens have touched on many different topics of concern. The strongest advice is to be practical. Many salesmen and on-line shopping sites will try to persuade the consumer that “bigger is better” and that they need a “tough” microwave that is “fast”. Truth is, there is little difference between the plethora of microwave ovens out there, and consumers are warned to not be sucked into the sales pitches that can con many people out of hundreds of dollars.

The best advice is to do your research. Compare and contrast, but only on your needs. Don’t think that an industrial strength microwave will suit your family’s needs anymore than a normal practical model. Get what you need and leave it at that. Be careful of the pressure to upgrade if your current model works just fine.

Top Online Resources:

  2. Consumer Reports


What I wanted to do was find links that provided information about the different types of kitchen ranges available, how they differed from each other, and what the uses for each type were. That way, someone researching would be able to decide which type of range would be best for their needs, and budget.

The main types of ranges available are electric, gas, and dual-fuel. Electric ranges use electricity and come in above-the-counter coils or flat-top models. Both effectively heat areas, but coils are oftentimes more durable and less expensive. Flat-tops are oftentimes easier to clean, but coiled models have removable pans that are easy to take out and clean.

Gas ranges heat up and cool extremely quickly, and also provide very precise temperature control. On the downside, they’re usually more expensive than comparable electric models, and you need to be sure that you can, indeed, hook your house up to gas. Otherwise the range would be rather useless.

Dual-fuel ranges combine a gas-powered stove-top with an electrical oven. So, it’s the best of both worlds, if that’s what you need. They’re usually found in the mid-high price range.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Whirlpool Range Buying Guide


The objective was to create a go-to source any individual could refer to in order to access credible, helpful information as well as plenty of reliable purchasing opportunities.

These sites bring together information for interpreting, using, and what you really need to know when purchasing silverware. For example, several sites explain "weight" of silverware, or the process the silverware goes through, and whether it really is "silver"ware or not. This is extremely helpful to know when purchasing so you are not just guessing at what product you are getting.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Oneida
  2. Flatware
  3. Silver superstore

Vacuum Food Storage

The intent of this research is to find sites online that compare brands and types of vacuum food storage appliances and where to shop for them.

Top Online Resources:


Wall Ovens

Three main features to compare when shopping for a wall oven: baking, broiling and oven capacity. Some important features people should be willing to pay for are: 1) self cleaning cycle: uses high heat to loosen up spills that are caked onto the walls of the oven, 2) convection: has proven to cut cooking time by a large amount prevents uneven cooking, 3) shutoff: lets you set a timer on the oven so you can leave a long-cooking meal in the oven and it will turn itself off, 4) child lockout- allows you to disable oven for child safety, and 5) window: lets you check on food without opening the door and lowering the temperature. gives this basic explanation of wall ovens: “These can be single or double, electric or gas, self-cleaning or manual, with or without a convection setting. Width is typically 24, 27, or 30 inches. They allow you to eliminate bending by installing them at waist or eye level, though you can also nest them beneath a countertop to save space. Price range: $500 to more than $2,500 for double-oven models; figure on about $300 extra for convection.” What oven you get really depends on your needs. I mentioned five main points that most people would want in their oven, but more serious cooks may want more. After you have decided which features are a must, I would suggest checking which offers price quotes from several retailers along with reviews. Going to a home store such as Home Depot or Lowe’s and talking with a sales rep would also be helpful.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Consumer Search
  2. My Simon
  3. NexTag