Think You’re Sharp?

There are a lot of myths about kitchen safety but it is always best to be on the safe side. Knives are a regularly used utensils in the kitchen and they are both useful and dangerous. Being able to cut what you intend to is important. There is a myth that a sharper knife is safer than a dull knife. Technically speaking, it would be difficult to impale yourself with a butter knife so it’s difficult to imagine a dull knife being able to inflict an injury.

The reality is that if you’re using a knife that’s supposed to be sharp enough to cut through anything but it has dulled out, it is likely still sharp enough to cut skin even if you are struggling to cut whatever you’re trying to. The problem is that if it doesn’t cut well anymore than you are using too much force to get it to cut through anything so if it slips that force can go towards your fingers and cause an injury.

If you are having trouble getting a knife sharp, over-the-counter knife sharpeners are better than nothing and they are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. Sharpening stones can allow you to get a great edge but take a lot of practice and if you don’t do it correctly you could round the edge off and make it worse.

If you have a knife that just won’t hold an edge than you may need a new knife. There are lots of different knife styles and depending on what you’re cutting, you may need very different types of knifes. Here is a website with a quick breakdown of basic knife types: http://www.kniveskitchen.com/blades.html.

Fantastic Plastic

Everywhere we turn there is plastic. If you’re reading this, then you have plastic in front of you. Even our vehicles are completely full of plastic. The debate still remains active whether plastic is safe to have anywhere near our food. Regulations vary widely for containers used to hold foods. Extensive research has been conducted on plastics for food containment. Dioxin, Phthalates, and Bisphenol have been the most widely researched. Dioxin has been shown to actually be far less present in plastics than originally thought and despite concern, microwaving doesn’t appear to release dioxin into the foods.

Phthalates & Bisphenol A have also been rumored to be a danger when heating plastics in a microwave. As with other studies, tests don’t show any definitive answers that these toxins come out of plastics at a dangerous level either.

The important thing to take into consideration is that the grade of plastics vary.  For more information, take a look at this link for more information: http://www.plasticsinfo.org/beveragebottles/apc_faqs.html

The Future

Technology is ever changing and advancing so it’s almost daily that something new comes on the market that makes what we have seem antiquated. For example, phones used to be something we had in our houses and computers were used for email. These days nearly everyone has a phone in their pocket and it is exponentially more powerful than our first computers and is capable of staying connected  to everything online from email to social media to surveillance of our homes.

This sort of technology and remote access is just getting started. Even appliance manufacturers are in the process of developing their own apps for devices and incorporating the technology into their latest appliances that are already more or less equipped with the computers needed to harness this capability.

So picture not being certain that you shut your dryer off and being able to turn on your phone and just push a power button from anywhere in the world to make sure it’s off!

Microwave Safety

Microwaves are pretty easy to use and they make quick work of heating food. Unfortunately they can get you into a major mess quickly as well. Even these days, not all dishes are microwave safe so be careful to check before throwing a dish in the microwave!

Even plastics are susceptible to damage in the microwave as they can melt if they are not the right quality.

It is pretty common knowledge that metal is not to be microwaved but double-check that nothing you are microwaving has any parts that are metal or you could end up with a fireworks show and a dead microwave!

Also be careful when removing things from the microwave. Make sure they aren’t too hot to handle or you could end up dropping them and burning yourself or worse.

When you open containers, make sure you open them away from your face so no hot contents pop up into your face including any hot steam. This as well as using a hot pad to handle the container should help you avoid burns.

You Get What You Pay For?

Do you always get what you pay for?Just because something has a high price tag on it doesn’t always mean it’s worth the top dollar that has been placed on it. Some manufactures have multiple brand names but in reality the appliances are exactly the same under the hood.  They put a different face and logo on some products and sell them for a premium price. It may not be a higher quality you’re paying for, but instead a popular style and you could be buying a lesser quality product for a higher price tag!  The best thing to do is look under the hood.  Check out the reviews online and best option yet, talk to your appliance repair professionals.  They see these products day in and day out and can tell you which ones they do the most repairs on.  Ultimately it is your choice what you spend your money on. Choose what you like, what will fit into the designated appliance space and what you can afford to spend.

See Through Food

Microwaves are a fantastic appliance for helping us quickly heat food. Unfortunately they’re not known for cooking evenly and it’s hard to tell if the middle is cooked the whole way through. A NASA engineer decided he wanted a more thorough look at the food he was cooking so he developed a thermal imaging prototype for a microwave that gives a visual of the thermal temperatures of the food throughout that looks like something straight out of a movie. Take a look:

 

http://www.cnet.com/news/heat-map-microwave-gives-thermal-view-while-nuking-your-food/

How Resourceful

When it comes to appliances, most of us want to know the basics and what we need to hear. Some of us on the other hand want to know everything there is to know, especially if it pertains to hard to find information. This is probably information that you’d never need to know but it’s still unique if you’re into this sort of thing. These people compiled pretty much every manufacturer that has ever existed and has it logged alphabetically. Take a look if your want to learn a company or two!

http://www.appliance411.com/links/Appliance_Brands/

How Revealing

Everyone always wants the latest and greatest appliances and high end appliances made by major manufacturers never fail to impress. Refrigerators are arguably the most used appliance in our homes so innovations that make this appliance more useful go a long way. A design just came out that allows you to select how MUCH you want to open your refrigerator door. Instead of a single handle, the system splits the handle up into two sections. You can either open the whole door or use the other part of the handle to open only a panel and leave the inside of the door in place. This allows only access to the items in the storage compartments on the door. This makes for a very easy open panel to get to drinks and condiments or anything else you store in the door.

Loaded Question

Have you ever overloaded your washer? Appliances are obviously not impervious to having problems but there are some malfunctions that can be avoided. If an appliance has a listed capacity then it is important to realize that it is the max not the expected capacity. Just because a car CAN go over 100 mph does not mean that you should. Not that you’re going to get arrested for putting too many pairs of jeans in a washer but it is important to realize that the life of the washer will be greatly reduced if you repeatedly load it to the max.

If you overload an appliance then it can cause permanent damage to it as well. Washers and dryers spin and tumble clothes so if there is too much weight and the weight clumps or shifts, the parts in the appliances may not be able to accommodate the weight shift and may bend or break a part in the appliance.

For the best results, leave clothes loose instead of balled up. Leaving clothes clumped up in the washer causes imbalances that make the machine compensate through extended tumbling or intermediate spin speeds to fluff up the clothes and balance the load. Mixing different fabric types is also bad for the machine since it won’t be able to find a proper balance and can even shut down during the cycle throwing a fault code on the main computer display.

Be sure to follow the directions for the washer on detergent quantity. Washer manufacturers conduct extensive tests on each specific machine so they know better than the detergent’s generic suggestions. Too much detergent can also cause buildup and mold in your washer and even wear out the bearings and seals.