Cook outside the box with these creative kitchen appliances

Innovative kitchen gadgets are nothing new, and as anyone who's seen an infomercial can attest, these kinds of small appliances often come with bold promises of revolutionizing the way we cook. However, with the occasional exception (I'm looking at you, Crock-Pot), that kind of ubiquity never quite seems to arrive.

But if you aren't getting a revolution, what are you getting? That all depends on the specific product, but more and more, we're seeing intriguing options that actually live up to their performance claims. Whether they're introducing powerful new cooking methods like steam baking and … Read more

Cuisinart Waffle and Pancake Maker solves the syrup conundrum

Weekend mornings staring at the syrup bottle have no need to be confusing. While one side of the equation may make perfect sense -- that being to serve something with syrup -- the other side can be as opaque as batter. For it may be that delicious syrup makes delicious breakfast even better, the fact remains a platform has to be chosen to pour it on to. The great eternal syrup question is of course: pancakes or waffles?

Unlike other breakfast conundrums, this one has no incorrect answers; both waffles and pancakes are delicious in their own ways. Yet just … Read more

From smoothies to pesto: Seven blenders reviewed

Blenders are fun, but buying the wrong one is anything but. With countless models available at a wide range of price points, it can be hard to tell the upgrades from the downgrades. Are more watts always better? How much does the shape of the jar matter? Could a top-of-the-line blender be the smartest upgrade you'll ever make? The dumbest?

If your head spins just thinking about it, don't worry -- our handy blender roundup will help you find the perfect machine for your needs, whether you're looking to spend $50 or $500.

Blendtec Designer Series WildSide Blender Read more

Should you upgrade to Cuisinart's PowerEdge 1000 Watt Blender?

There's a large middle ground between cheaply made budget blenders and all-powerful, all-expensive, heavy-duty ones, and this is where you'll find the Cuisinart PowerEdge 1000 Watt Blender. Priced at $199, it aims for the sweet spot: its high wattage and sturdy, die-cast construction qualify it as a worthy upgrade from basic countertop models, but its price leaves it affordable enough to make sense for the frugal shopper.

Cuisinart isn't alone in this approach. Shop around, and you'll find the $199 Breville Hemisphere Control, the $259 Ninja Ultima, and the $149 KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender, and that'… Read more

Don't call them toasters: We test out high-end toaster ovens

It used to be that the only real advantage offered by high-end toaster ovens was that they looked a little nicer than their more budget-friendly countertop counterparts. There was nothing cutting-edge about toaster ovens back then, and when it came time to cook, one would more or less do the job just as well as another.

Today's high-end toaster ovens are different. With full convection settings, presets that actually matter, and a variety of new and improved cooking elements to play with, you'll find plenty of tempting new models capable of giving your full-size oven a run for … Read more

Cuisinart CSO-300 adds steam to usual toaster oven arsenal

The kitchen is one of the most upgradable rooms of the house, and Cuisinart would love for you to consider upgrading your toaster oven. The company's top offering, the sleek CSO-300 Combo Steam + Convection Oven, promises to bring the power of steam to your countertop, transforming your standard toaster oven into a more multidimensional cooking contraption. But that expanded functionality comes at a price -- $299, to be exact. If you think $299 is a lot to spend on a toaster oven, you'd be correct, but Cuisinart would argue that the CSO-300 isn't just a toaster oven, … Read more

The K-Cup lovers brewer: the Cuisinart SS-700

With a competitive $199 retail price, the Cuisinart SS-700 is a handsome-looking kitchen appliance with thoughtful design and durable-feeling construction. It is designed to make single servings of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate in less than a minute by way of a K-Cup brewer design licensed from Keurig. If you're environmentally conscious, using the nonrecyclable K-Cups will likely not appeal to you, but unlike three of the five other brewers we tested, the SS-700 includes a reusable coffee filter. That fact, along with its sturdy construction and a generous three-year limited warranty make the Cuisinart SS-700 a sound choice … Read more

To the K-Cup and beyond: Single serve coffee makers reviewed

We targeted high-end, single serve coffee makers in one of our first appliance round-ups, and we were surprised at how much diversity we found. We expected some differences in their features--different programming options, maybe a unique brewing mode or two--but what really stood out for us was the differences in flavor between each unit, even using the same kind of coffee.

Features and usability are important, too. For many coffee drinkers, all that matters at 6:30 am is that the caffeine comes fast and easy. If that's all you care about, you don't need to spend more … Read more

Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe takes the kitchen counter further

Kitchen appliances that overachieve are always welcome on the countertop. It hasn't quite gotten to the point where one appliance can cook absolutely anything and everything in any type of way (microwaves don't count), but when it comes time to properly prepare a meal, one can only ask for any particular appliance or gadget to do so much. And maybe perhaps a bit more.

The Cuisinart GR-150 Griddler Deluxe ($159) offers the ability to cook up a batch of practically anything. Building upon the popular Cuisinart Griddler name, the countertop appliance combines an indoor grill with a griddle … Read more

Countertop oven hides healthy cooking in plain sight

The annual changing of the calendar brings with it a multitude of promises that nobody intends to actually keep. That's OK; it's just all part of tradition. Things get said, feelings get hurt, but in the end, what really matters more: a couple of extra pounds or never seeing a frozen pizza again? Better to err on the side of caution, apologize to all those fatty and greasy foods -- but keep a little room for healthy steam cooking hidden in plain sight.

Never say never again with the Cuisinart Combo Steam and Convection Oven ($299.95). The … Read more