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Blendtec Designer 725 Replaces a Counter of Kitchen Appliances

The first step to overcoming an addiction is admitting you have a problem, right? Well, my name is Jennifer, and I have an addiction to kitchen gadgets.
Blendtec_Designer 725_Gun Metal
The Blendtec Designer 725 is indeed another kitchen appliance, but can you give me a pass if I prove to you how it replaces all the other appliances on my counter?

I used to be a pretty bad cook. My repertoire consisted of pasta with jarred sauce and grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup (also canned). My kitchen was complete with a few hand-me-down pots and pans and a spatula.

Then I discovered that I have a severe gluten intolerance and for health reasons I would have to follow a strict gluten-free diet. This was before gluten-free options filled supermarket shelves and every restaurant has a special menu. If I wanted to eat, I was going to have to learn how to cook.

In my excitement to improve my cooking skills, I started to build my new appliance collection lining my kitchen counter. I had to get a new toaster to replace the old gluten-filled one. Then when I started baking for myself, Santa brought me a professional level stand mixer. Next came the food processor, blender, immersion blender, margarita maker, ice cream maker, rice cooker, and toaster oven.

Now, some of these appliances are used very frequently – I keep my stand mixer on the counter to encourage me to bake more. Some of them are even multi-use. My rice cooker has a steamer basket to cook veggies at the same time. But I started to wonder if I really needed five different appliances to puree, mix, combine and blend food.

Even with all of these appliances to perform various tasks, they didn’t always work the way they were supposed to. I tried to puree butternut squash soup in my $30 blender and ended up with hot soup sprayed across the counter. The immersion blender worked a bit better, but I still haven’t gotten the hang of the suction to the bottom of the pot when I turn it on. The margarita machine was just a joke. Thank goodness it was a garage sale find because I would never pay for the watery margaritas it produces.

So how does the Blendtec Designer 725 replace these appliances?

I’ve been trying out some of the most common things I make with various appliances, and I’ve been extremely impressed.

Blender
Blender Compare
The Blendtec is without a doubt an improvement over my $30 blender. I have no clue what power was behind my old one, but I can guarantee it’s less than the 1725 watt Blendtec Designer 725.
I’m also a big fan of the blunt safety blade and one-piece jar. I cut myself a few times on the sharp blades of my old blender when I was trying to take the jar apart to clean it. I’m a stickler for a clean kitchen, so the clean cycle and easy-to-clean touch screen are ideal for me.

I can’t imagine my old blender serving any purpose that the Blendtec Designer 725 couldn’t handle, so the cheapie is going in the donation box.

Immersion blender

I primarily use the immersion blender to puree soups and sometimes to whip up a quick vinaigrette. As I already mentioned, the immersion blender has often been difficult to use and the sound drives my dog crazy. While it doesn’t take up much space in the kitchen, I could ditch it for the sake of streamlining my drawers.
Homemade Broccoli Soup
The broccoli soup I made from the Blendtec recipe book was supposed to be a bit chunky but I was so excited at how the Blendtec heated my soup that I got a little overzealous with adding time. Lucky me, because the broccoli cheddar soup was smooth and velvety – almost whipped. Instead of cooking and heating your ingredients in a stockpot, then using the immersion blender, the Blendtec executes every step of the soup in the blender jar.

Margarita maker

I would be embarrassed to serve the margaritas that my old novelty appliance served. That thing has been gathering dust for months. Since I got the Blendtec, I’ve been making delicious smoothies every morning with frozen fruit and almond milk. I can’t wait for the next time I have friends over so I can impress them with different flavors of frozen cocktails. With the super-easy clean cycle there’s no down time between switching flavors.

Ice Cream Maker

Guys, I’m not even going to lie to you. I have never used the ice cream maker sitting in my cabinet. It’s just one of those appliances that takes a lot of prep work and a lot of time; way more effort than picking up a pint of Häagen Dazs. I’ve been making most of my smoothies for breakfast, but I confess I made one with bananas, peanut butter and chocolate syrup that would be perfect for a dessert treat.

I might have talked myself into kitchen appliance recovery. My stand mixer is still my baby, but I can’t wait to continue testing the Blendtec with all my other recipes for blending, pureeing, crushing and pulverizing.

Here’s what I’m going to try next:

Pumpkin Pleaser

Decadent Chocolate Mousse

Creamy Tomato-Basil Soup

Gluten-Free Flatbread

Cuisinart CSO-300 N: IH+HS 2014 Product Preview

The Cuisinart booth at the 2014 International Home + Housewares Show had a number of kitchen appliances on display, both traditional and newly innovative. One of the highlights was the demonstration of the Cuisinart CSO-300 N Combo Steam + Convection Oven. Viewpoints staff were lucky enough to get an interview with a Cuisinart chef and wanted to share our exclusive look at the upgrade with Viewpoints reviewers.

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Buy Viewpoints Best Overall Small Kitchen Appliances During Amazon Sales

In the kitchen with presents

If you’re looking to buy the best kitchen appliances as Christmas gifts this year, Amazon sales are slashing prices of a few.

I love kitchen appliances. If I had the space, my entire Christmas list would be filled with them: a stand mixer, stainless steel cookware, a toaster oven, an espresso maker, etc. But these things take up space, and they cost money, especially if you want to buy the best of the best. Viewpoints’ Best Overall winners in the small kitchen appliance category are no exception. The most expensive one costs well over $500 full price, so getting these products while on sale can be a great money saver. Amazon sales slash the prices of four of these winners, including blenders, juicers, food processors and coffee makers.

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Best Kitchen Gifts For Aspiring Home Chefs

best kitchen gifts

These best kitchen gifts would be a welcome surprise under the tree for the aspiring chef in your life.

I love my kitchen appliances, but don’t always love the price tag that comes with them. Christmas is a great time to find good deals on some of the most coveted small kitchen appliances. Maybe you have an aspiring chef on your gift list, or someone who loves to bake and cook? Maybe you want to give yourself a gift and finish out your kitchen appliance set. These appliances would be great to snag for holiday gift giving, and they will never know what a great deal you got on them!

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Holiday Shopping Guide: Stock Up Your Closet and Kitchen With Macy’s Sales

Macy's Black Friday Sales

If you are looking to restock your closet or maybe to replace an appliance or two this Black Friday, Macy’s should be one of the first places you stop at.

This year is not the first one where some stores have opened their doors to Black Friday shoppers Thanksgiving night, but this year is the first year Macy’s will be. Macy’s sales will be starting at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day this year where shoppers will be seeing discounts on most of its best selling merchandise.

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Holiday Shopping Guide: Black Friday Do Not Buys

Black Friday Do Not Buys

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, but there are some things you should avoid if you want to save the most money.

Most of us have already made our Black Friday shopping lists, some slightly more spectacular than others. Mine mostly includes teas and mugs to give friends along with homemade biscotti. I always buy my Christmas gifts Black Friday weekend if I can because the sales make it easier, and I love shopping way too much to miss out on the biggest shopping day of the year. But there are some items on your list that you should avoid next weekend, and I’m here to tell you exactly what they are.

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Breville Smart Oven BOV800XL: “Best Overall” Convection Toaster Oven

Breville Toaster Oven BOV800XL

The Breville Smart Oven 1800-Watt Convection Toaster Oven BOV800XL: “I don’t think I’ve ever loved an appliance so much,” writes a reviewer in Iowa

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The Breville Smart Oven BOV800XL ($250) is one of those rare products that everyone — yes, everyone — strongly recommends. It has the distinction of being the highest-rated winner to date in the Viewpoints Reviewers’ Choice awards. With its nearly perfect rating, the consumer love for this convection toaster oven is as strong as it gets.

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Black and Decker Toaster Oven: “Best Value” In Viewpoints Reviewers’ Choice Awards

Black and Decker

Reviewers call this Black and Decker toaster oven with rotisserie “exceptional” for the price.

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When it comes to kitchen appliances, less is often more. A toaster oven that tries to do too many things may wind up not doing any single thing very well.

That’s not the case with the Black and Decker 6-Slice Convection Toaster Oven with Rotisserie CTO7100B ($100). This toaster oven of many talents also comes at a budget price ($100) and easily wins “Best Value” convection toaster oven in the Viewpoints Reviewers’ Choice awards.

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Top Toaster Ovens – Viewpoints Reviewers’ Choice Awards

Top Toaster Ovens

A great toaster oven is liberating. And it can save on your utility bill. The Viewpoints Reviewers’ Choice awards recognize the top toaster ovens on the market, based solely on the product reviews we collect and publish daily on Viewpoints. Our reviews are written by ordinary consumers, not professional testers. These blenders all meet Viewpoints Reviewers’ Choice award eligibility and represent the top 3 percent of  121+ reviewed on Viewpoints. Make toast and much more with these versatile performers.

Viewpoints recommends three toaster ovens as top choices:

Breville Compact Smart Oven Toaster Oven BOV650XL

Best Overall: Toaster Ovens – Basic

Breville The Compact Smart Oven BOV650XL ($180)

Rated 97 | 18+ reviews

Several reviewers got this as a gift and didn’t know what to expect. The verdict, though, is nearly unanimous. The Breville compact toaster oven (smaller sibling to Breville’s convection BOV800XL) is “absolutely reliable.”

“… with the high price does come very good quality. We hesitate to even call this a toaster oven … It is so much more. We didn’t have a working kitchen through a long period of renovation and this Breville could not have been more of a savior to us.” WC3, Glendale, CA, Reviewer since 2011

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Breville The Smart Oven 1800-Watt Convection Toaster Oven BOV800XL

Best Overall: Toaster Ovens – Convection

Breville The Smart Oven Convection BOV800XL ($250)

Rated 98 | 30+ reviews

A bit larger than most toaster ovens, The Smart Oven by Breville bakes with convection heat and is in a class by itself. Is it possible to be in love with a toaster oven? Reviewers use words like “awesome” and “amazing” to describe its “top-of-the-line” features. A worthy splurge.

“I actually use it much more often than my regular oven … I cannot think of anything bad to say about the Breville Smart oven. It is probably the best kitchen purchase I have ever made!” fitzie2, Perrysburg, OH, Reviewer since 2009

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Black & Decker Convection Toast-R-Oven with Rotisserie CTO7100B

Best Value: Toaster Ovens – Convection

Black & Decker Convection Toast-R-Oven with Rotisserie CTO7100B ($100)

Rated 88 | 66+ reviews

Recommended as best for pizza, broiling or baking, the Black & Decker Convection Toast-R-Oven with Rotisserie packs much functionality for the price. This mighty toaster oven makes “the perfect housewarming or wedding gift.”

“Not your standard toaster oven! It is lightweight and attractive. It cooks food evenly. It doesn’t take up much counter space and is very easy to clean.”christmassnow09, Lancaster, NY, Reviewer since 2010

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Looking for other good deals? You’ll like this page.

Another Top Toaster Oven

This toaster oven is an award-winner too! It meets the tough criteria for a Viewpoints Reviewers’ Choice award and is also highly recommended:

Cuisinart TOB-195 Exact Heat Toaster Oven BroilerCuisinart TOB-195 Exact Heat Toaster Oven Broiler ($179)

This state-of-the-art toaster oven features cooking options, extra-large capacity and much more. Viewpoints-rated at 94 with 39+ reviews, reviews say this Cuisinart oven is the “most versatile and often-used appliance in my kitchen” and “one of the best on the market.”

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Editor’s Note: Viewpoints Reviewers’ Choice awards were given in October and November, 2013, and current product ratings may differ.

Can One Machine Make the Perfect Breakfast?

perfect breakfast

These all-in-one coffee maker and toasters may be just the trick for making the perfect breakfast.

Do you ever wake up late for work, struggling to get dressed and rushing to the car with no hope of stopping for breakfast or even a quick cup of coffee? What you might need—in addition to a better alarm clock—is a multi-purpose breakfast machine, the type of device that can become command central for your basic daily morning meal. These all-in-one machines might be the secret to a perfect breakfast.

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