Daily Reviews Include Dualit Toasters, Shun Knife Set And Panasonic Microwaves

12 01 2010

Dualit 4 Slice Toaster Review: A Beautiful Chrome Toaster Full Of Surprise

Engineered in England and hand-assembled to the last detail, the Dualit 4-slice toaster is that ideal accomplishment–a hardworking kitchen appliance with an elegant presence. Its curvy retro shape is undeniably handsome and its structural components withstand the rigors of a high-octane kitchen. In fact, the toaster can output up to 130 slices per hour, should the entire neighborhood ever depend on you for breakfast or tea.

The key to Dualit’s exceptionally even browning is the toaster’s system of patented ProHeat elements, a series of flat bars behind a smooth, transparent coating. The result is an efficient, durable design, suitable for everything from brioche to sandwiches. The elements are encased by a rugged, stainless-steel housing Dualit 4 Slice Toaster that you may not even recognize as a relative of its lightweight, plasticky peers. Each slot measures 28 mm wide and is extra deep to allow for the use of the Dualit sandwich cage (sold separately). One adjustable leg accommodates uneven surfaces and rubberized feet protect your countertop.

The Dualit toaster has manually operated functions and is designed for people who like to engage with their appliances. Operation is simple but rewarding. A rocker switch selects 2- or 4-slice toasting, and a 4-minute timer knob lets you fine-tune browning time. Instead of a pop-up function that can prematurely cool toast, the unit comes with an ejector knob that you raise when you’re ready for it. For smaller households or busy kitchens, Dualit also makes 2- and 3-slice models.

Shun Knife Set Review: Shun Classic 6-Piece Knife Set With Bamboo Block

Shun knives are made from VG-10 stainless steel, specially constructed to be harder, less brittle, but also more flexible than traditional steel formulations. The VG-10 core is then clad with 16 full layers of high-carbon stainless steel on each side, for a grand total of 33 layers. These layers not only protect the VG-10, they create an exquisitely-detailed surface reminiscent of Damascus or pattern-forged steel, the kind once used for Samurai swords. As a result, these knives are simply stunning to look at–much like antique Damascus knives but without their tendency to rust. As an additional benefit, the slight patterning helps slice rather than crush delicate foods and keeps cut food from sticking to the blade.

Like many Asian-style knives, these feature handles that are especially suited to smaller users. In contrast to the traditional round profile, however, Shun’s are D-shaped to prevent the knife from twisting in the hand, Shun Knife Set providing extra stability and a firm grip. The handles are made from ebony-colored Pakkawood, a fused blend of hardwood veneers imbued with waterproof resin that combines the warmth and traditional look and feel of wood with the strength and durability of plastic. The offset stainless steel bolster is designed for ergonomic comfort and maximum safety, while a stainless steel end cap provides the finishing touch. As sturdy as they are lovely, these knives are officially safe to put in the dishwasher–although they’re so good-looking you might find yourself hard-pressed to do so. Shun knives are covered by a limited lifetime warranty.

Panasonic Inverter Microwave Review: A Stainless Steel Victory In Engineering

With a 1-3/5-cubic-foot capacity and 1250 watts of power, this full-sized Panasonic inverter microwave oven provides quick and easy meal preparation. The unit’s automatic 15-inch turntable ensures even heating, while its one-touch sensor cooking adjusts power levels and calculates cooking times automatically, making reheating and cooking a variety of foods easier than ever. A pulsing delivery of very low microwave power keeps food temperature at a constant level–without overcooking; the improved keep-warm menu now includes five items, so foods like stew, gravy, and desserts remain warm in the oven until they’re ready to be served.

In addition, the Panasonic microwave’s menu-action screen adds to the overall convenience. It scrolls step-by-step cooking instructions across the display in English, Spanish, or French, while the function key simplifies the programming of 10 useful, non-cooking functions. Just press the function key and the menu-action screen will display the steps necessary to complete the desired function. Other Panasonic highlights include Inverter Turbo Defrost for thorough defrosting, a push-button control panel, 10 power levels, five multi-stage cooking options, and more/less control, as well as a popcorn key, Quick Minute, delay start, a timer, and auto reheat.

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