6 Ways to Spring Forward Your Coffee Habits

by Kitchenworks10. March 2015 08:22

As we lose an hour of sleep from Daylight Savings this week, you may want a stronger cup of joe to keep some spring in your step! Luckily there are a variety of ways to get your coffee fix -- here are the perks of each: 



Ever craved espresso but balk at losing counterspace to a giant machine? Bialetti has your answer: Made in Italy, this is the original manual stovetop espresso maker. An excellent option for folks who love the craft of espresso, Bialetti’s products allow you to fine tune your brew just how you like it. It’s fast, easy, and available in sizes from 1 to 12 cups.

 

 

If you believe vintage never truly goes out of style, a percolator may be up your alley. First introduced in the early 20th century, percolators maintained popularity until the early 1970’s when electric coffeemakers first hit the market. They’re still common among camping and outdoors enthusiasts for their simplicity and usability without electricity. 

 

 

Pourovers offer a lot of control, both in the strength of the coffee you brew and the temperature of the water used, and produce a cup of joe similar in consistency and flavor to an electric coffeemaker. Like the title suggests, this method entails pouring hot water over your coffee grounds via a reusable filter cone. Filter cones come in ceramic and plastic, as well as an array of sizes.  


Chemex 8 Cup Glass Coffeemaker

 

The most widely known style of pourover is the Chemex, which have spiked in popularity recently. While pourover filter cones vary in filtration, Chemex touts an optimized flow rate to maximize flavor and quality. A Chemex also offers similar user control as standard pourovers, just with fewer moving parts! 


  

Bonjour 3 Cup French Press

 

Another option for manual coffee brewing is the French press. Slightly more involved than a pourover, a French press requires more maintenance in both use and cleanup; however, many feel the quality of coffee you’ll get more than makes up for it! Operating without a filter, french presses allow the natural oils in your coffee beans to produce a richer brew.  New to the French press? This blog post offers a great step-by-step guide to get you started.

 

 

Finally, the most conventional of options, the electric coffeemaker. This mechanized system removes almost all preparation from your plate, some even allowing you to set your machine in sync with your morning alarm. Some folks feel electric coffeemakers offer a limited depth of flavor in comparison to other brewing methods, but it’ll certainly still get the job done.

 

 

One wonderful thing about coffee is that no two cups are the same: in both preparation and the beans themselves, there’s enough variation for everyone to find their style.

 

Join us on Pinterest for more coffee tidbits, recipes, and more!

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General | Products | Tips and Tricks

Sticking it out

by Gia26. January 2014 10:01

I've never been very good at New Years Resolutions. Apparently, I'm in good company. Only 8% of resolution-makers hold out. We're here today to talk about sticking it out.

The top 5 New Years resolutions are to:

  1. Lose Weight
  2. Get Organized
  3. Spend Less, Save More
  4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest
  5. Stay Fit and Healthy

Look familiar? Fear not! We have the perfect sanctuary for you to achieve your goals:

Your Kitchen!

You probably already know that home-cooked meals are healthier and cheaper than meals cooked outside of the home. Still throwing around some lame excuse for not cooking at home? Let's go through these huh?

I can't cook.

At a certain point in your life you couldn't read or type or speak more than 6 intelligible words. But, you learned. No one is born with the ability to slow-braise a perfect pork shoulder. As long as you're willing to eat your failures (or stock a few emergency frozen burritos) you can learn to cook anything.

  • Ask: your butcher, your grocer, your mom, your best friend. Everyone has an opinion on how to cook something and most people love to talk about food. Its also a great way to pick up cute chicks in the pasta aisle.

  • Use the internet: you can access the entirety of human knowledge from a screen in your pocket. Stop scrolling through top-10 lists and look up something of value. Youtube is chock full of how-to videos, and there are probably more cooking blogs than chefs in the world at this point. Benefit from someone else's mistakes.

  • Call Kitchenworks. Didn't think you could do that huh? Loving food is pretty much a pre-requisite for working here and we've helped customers through many a kitchen nightmare. Chances are, we have a good idea why your biscuits taste like glue

I don't have the right equipment.

You don't need fancy equipment to cook for yourself. When you find yourself coveting that new gadget on tv, remember that your ancestors got by with little more than a skillet and a stick and we're still passing down those recipes. 

All you need are:

I don't have time

Let's return to our ancestors, shall we? On average, they had more children, less electricity/running water, and far more diseases. You have time, you're just not spending it wisely. Here are some things that might help:

  • Plan your meals. You'll save time and money by pre-answering the much-resented 'what's for dinner' conversation. Go through your cookbooks or browse your grocery store serials for inspiration.

  • Involve the kids – picky eaters are much more likely to eat something that they had a hand in choosing and preparing.
  • Prep ahead of time. Only using half an onion for that breakfast omelet? Chop all of it anyway and save the rest for the sauce you're making for dinner. Having tacos for lunch? Cook all of the ground beef in the package and save the remainder for tomorrow's sloppy joes.

Staff Picks: CL

by Gia11. September 2013 14:46

Our pinch hitter extraordinaire, CL, tells us about his favorite products and the meal for which he'd give up vegetarianism.

Name: CL

If you could choose your last meal, what would it be?

Pot Roast; I'm vegetarian, but if I'm on the way out...

What are your three favorite meals to prepare?

  • Vegetarian Lasagna
  • Vegetarian Meat(less) Loaf
  • Vegetarian Chili

What are your three favorite bars/restaurants?

What are your top 5 essential cooking tools?

What are your top 5 essential kitchen tools?

What 5 products would you like to receive as gifts?

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Products

The Evolution of the Cuisinart Food Processor

by Gia30. August 2013 13:43

 

 

My personal philosophy when it comes to cooking is to remember that, at the base level, cooking is just regulating the amount of heat and moisture applied/maintained in food over time (flavoring is a whole other ballgame, but that's for another post). It is for this reason that I often tell new Kitchenworks staff members, when considering the relative quality of comparable products, to imagine the kitchen as a tropical jungle. A quality product is the one that is able to perform well through wide variances in heat and humidity. 

 

What does this have to do with Food Processors?

We don't carry many electronic kitchen appliances at our Chapel Hill location. This is for two reasons: we have a very small retail space and humidity wreaks havoc on electronic parts, including motors, circuit boards, and computer chips (which have become as ubiquitous in kitchen appliances as they have in cars)  It is for this reason that most kitchen appliances only have a 3 year warranty which, in our opinion, is just not worth the price.

Cuisinart Food Processors have always been the exception to this rule, which is why they are one of the few electronic appliances we carry.

 

What makes Cuisinart Food Processors different?

The most significant design aspect of a Cuisinart Food Processor is that it is simple to operate. Their Pro Classic line (ie: their consistent models, not the special editions), have only three settings: on, off and pulse. The absence of a computer chip makes the machine much less susceptible to changes in heat and humidity (not to mention user error). 

Cuisinart Buttons

The most significant engineering aspect is that the motors are self-contained. Other than the fans used to cool them, the motor parts are contained within a water tight plastic shell. This prevents the parts from rusting or accumulating debris, which degrades the lubrication needed to keep everything moving. 

Fun fact: Steve Jobs used the Cuisinart Food Processor design as inspiration for his 1977 Apple II computer.

 

James Beard Cuisinart CookbookBut are they still that good?

Yes...and no...

Like any longstanding multinational brand, the Cuisinart company has gone through myriad changes in the 40+ years since Carl Sontheimer hacked his Robot Coupe and Julia Child convinced Americans to try it out. And, as has been the fate of many American-owned companies, the quality of their products took a significant dive around 1992 when they moved manufacturing to China (machines had previously been manufactured in France and Japan).

Consumers across the world lament the post-1992 Cuisinart Food Processors as weaker than their predecessors, which is a true and valid critique. The motors are lighter, which means the parts are moving more and creating more friction. Friction = heat. The faster a machine produces heat, the harder it has to work to continue to perform at that intensity. Therefore, the new models must perform at a lower intensity than the older models in order to prevent overheating.

Vintage Cuisinart Food Processor

However, many home cooks are still using French and Japanese built motors and Cuisinart is still manufacturing replacement parts for those machines (which we'll cover in another post). You can purchase functioning, used, pre-1992 motors online (Ebay has tons) and, if you're willing to do a little searching (ahem...not too far), refurbish your own machine for about the same price as a new one. Customers call us daily wondering if its really worth it to replace their parts or if they should just buy a whole new machine. The answer comes down to the frequency of use - if your Cuisinart is an essential tool in your kitchen arsenal, then its worth it to keep the old motor and replace the parts. You will notice the difference in quality.

 

So if they're not the best, why do you still sell them?

Though we love working with professional chefs and restauranteurs, our primary mission is to provide quality tools for the home cook. That includes carrying products that the average American can afford. Cuisinart Food Processors are still the best bang for your buck. Most home cooks only use their processor for large meals and events, so it may not make sense for them to pay over $400 for an appliance they only intend to use a few times a year. For the price range ($50 - $250), Cuisinart Food Processors are still the highest quality food processor brand on the market today. 

 

Have questions about parts for your Cuisinart Food Processor?

Start here: How to Identify your Cuisinart Food Processor Model. You'll see links there to info and parts pages for almost every model of Cuisinart Food Processor.

 

Still stumped?

Email us at info@kitchenworksinc.com or call us at (800) 967-9755 and we'll be happy to help you identify which parts you need to get your processor back up and running.

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