Best gifts for foodies in 2020 – CNET

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET's gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.

Foodie, (ˈfuːdi): a person with an ardent or refined interest in food, eating not only out of hunger but out of interest, hobby or pleasure. 

Finding the perfect gift for your favorite foodie friend or loved one can be a serious challenge. It's easy to fall back on edible gifts like good olive oil, balsamic vinegar, hot sauce, sea salt or maple syrup, but not everyone wants to gift gourmet food and people's tastes can be variable. So that leaves technology! But again, that can be tricky, as these gourmands demand high-quality appliances and tools for their kitchen and always seem to be just one step ahead in the gadget game. Admit it, your foodie friend probably had an Instant Pot long before you even heard about it. 

Ah, but they can't know everything. Below you'll find our picks for the best gifts for foodies. These cutting-edge gadgets, like a handy air fryer and convection combo oven, and high-quality analog culinary tools, such as a set of high carbon steel knives or the oh-so-trendy and oh-so-often-sold-out Always Pan, will satisfy the food and drink needs of even the most discerning home chef. Plus, these cooking gifts are more creative than wine charms or a bottle of Scotch (not that we don't love Scotch).

Read moreOur favorite cookware sets of 2020

Cuisinart

Toaster ovens have long gotten a bad rap as impersonal gifts with little to no cachet but I'm here to prove this platitude false. An air fryer lets you cook food with far less oil (olive oil or otherwise) while mimicking the effects of deep-frying -- which is scientifically proven to be the most delicious form of cooking. For me, the one big drawback with traditional air fryers is that the baskets have physical limits for what you can make in them. Not so with this chic combo air fryer and convection from KitchenAid which you can use for toasting, broiling, baking, warming and air frying. it heats up fast, cooks with precision, lets you watch your food's progress through a glass door and the matte black finish won't stain or tarnish as quickly as silver. Best air fryer for 2020.

Instant Pot via Amazon

On the off chance, your foodie doesn't already have one, the Instant Pot Duo is a slam dunk for a quick and easy meal. It's seven devices in one: A pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, saute pan, yogurt maker and warmer. If that's not enough, a number of models feature additional modes for preparing a treat like rice, cake or yogurt -- or even sterilizing food. You can buy it in three sizes: 3-quart, 6-quart and 8-quart, and you can practically go through your whole recipe journal with this one item. Note that the 6-quart version currently sells for about $80 on Amazon; look for that price to drop down closer to $50 or $60 as Black Friday approaches. Best Instant Pots of 2020.

Mealthy

As the name suggests, multicookers do a lot. No foodie gift guide would be complete without one. But this nifty, space-saving extension makes them even more capable when it comes to cooking. Attach the CrispLid to the top of a Mealthy MultiPot -- or any other 6- or 8-quart electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot -- and boom, you're a chef using less oil with an air fryer. Set the time and temperature, then watch the magic happen through the transparent tempered glass lid. This package also comes with a raised trivet, fryer basket, stainless steel tongs and heat-resistant silicone mat -- all of which are dishwasher safe.  Read Chowhound's Mealthy CrispLid review.

Earlier this year I put the cookware sensation that's sweeping the nation to the test. Is it over-hyped? Maybe a smidge, but what isn't these days? That doesn't change the fact that the Always Pan is an exceedingly well-designed, multi-purpose ceramic skillet. It's a great size, as easy to clean as any pan I've ever used and has a built-in spoon rest -- which I can't believe isn't a standard feature on more frying pans. The Always Pan is often sold out but is currently in stock and available in any one of five very pleasing colors. The maker of the Always Pan also just recently released a steamer basket insert made especially for it: Perfect for dumplings, fish and vegetables. Read our Always Pan review.

Ninja

Versatility is the hallmark of Ninja's all-in-one Hot and Cold Brew System. It can handle both tea and coffee -- and comes with separate filters to prevent cross-contamination -- with five different brew styles and six different sizes. You can also boil water for hot chocolate! This thing turns around hot coffee or tea (tea for us, please) in an instant and cold brew in about 10 minutes. And if you like your drinks frothy, it comes with an extension for that too. Read our Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System review.

Fulton Fish Market

Unless you live close to the docks, the easiest way to get quality seafood may be via one of these great online fish purveyors. Fulton Fish Market has one of the best selections anywhere -- web or otherwise -- with loads of wild salmon, trout, scallops, shellfish, caviar and more. Snatch a bundle and have it delivered directly to your giftee's home. They'll certainly appreciate making one less trip to the market.   Catch the best seafood delivery services of 2020.

Made In

You may need types of cookware depending on what you're making and the results you're after. For searing steaks, burgers, pork chops and other meats, it's hard to beat carbon steel. For one, it holds heat well, getting and staying hotter than Hades, but it's also lighter than cast iron so you can maneuver it over the stovetop easily. Carbon steel requires more meticulous cleaning and care, but for a carnivorous foodie, it's worth the effort. I absolutely love this blue carbon steel frying pan from direct-to-consumer cookware brand Made In, and chances are the meat-eater on your list will too. Pair it with a box of high-quality steaks from one of our favorite online butchers and you will win the day.

Vitamix

Vitamix has set the bar for blenders -- and the E310 Explorian is worth its lofty price. Sure, it makes unparalleled smoothies, but it's also great for making all sorts of food -- soups, nut butters, salsas and even baked goods. Unlike other blenders, the Explorian's aircraft-grade stainless steel blades are tough enough to tackle bread dough for baking.  And though most blenders can be a pain to clean, a drop of dish soap and warm water will make your Vitamix good as new. 

Vitamix also just released one of their best blender accessories ever, in my opinion: a 12-cup food processor attachment. (Though worth noting it's currently only compatible with the Ascent series). At $350 it ain't exactly cheap, but if you were to spring for a standalone food processor with as much power and precision as a Vitamix, I promise you'd pay a whole lot more than that.

Le Creuset

It is more than likely that a true foodie may already have a Dutch oven, so do some digging before you buy, but I've personally been surprised to learn how many of my friends and family don't own an enameled cast iron pot. For me, it's an absolute must-have for stews, braises, soups and Sunday meatballs in sauce. And a Dutch simply doesn't get any better (or better looking) than Le Creuset's essential oven. I dig the 3.5-quart size, which is plenty big for most recipes but won't require cross-fit muscles to move around. And it comes in a rainbow of pretty Le Creuset colors. 

There are certainly more budget-friendly Dutch ovens too, like this Lodge 6-quart number, but there is just something undeniable about a Le Creuset. The best Dutch oven of 2020.

Amazon

You don't need a degree in mixology when you have the Perfect Drink Pro. The scale and app will help you whip up more than 400 high-quality cocktails. Set down a glass or shaker, pour and stop when you hear the ding. It's so simple, you should be able to use it even after downing a couple of stiff ones. Mortar and pestle not included, just in case you wanted to get really fancy.

Revolution Cooking

Yes, this is a splurge and should be reserved for the foodie or kitchen gadget nerd who has everything. Having said that, this space-aged toaster is fairly magical. It toasts bread, bagels and the like just about exactly how you want it -- down to the Pantone shade -- and does it in literal seconds, not minutes. It can only handle two slices at a time, but that's more than enough when you consider the light-speed at which it does it. 

Breville

Even the snobbiest wine drinker will be impressed by this hyper-speed decanter. Featured on HBO's Succession, this model receives high marks from oenophiles for its speed: A minute in the Sommelier is equivalent to a full hour in a traditional glass decanter. Its unique design allows oxygen to reach every drop of wine -- not just the surface area -- which improves the flavor. And the Sommelier app provides decanting times based on country, region, varietal and vintage. Bottle after bottle will disappear before you know it, making it great for a post-pandemic dinner party (or board meeting). The Roy family would definitely approve. Best wine delivery service of 2020.

Amazon

Store-bought pints of delicious ice cream and gelato are expensive to buy. But the Cuisinart ICE-100 empowers you to take the DIY route to more affordable delights. Consult the included recipe book (if you make chocolate, share some with us), pour your ingredients into the commercial quality compressor, set it and forget it. It comes with a pair of paddles for ice cream and gelato. And if you're lactose intolerant, you can seek comfort from the machine's delicious sorbet capabilities. 

Amazon

Keto and paleo foodies take note. The Dehydro produces meat, poultry and seafood jerky for a fraction of the cost of store-bought equivalents -- and without the chemicals and other additives. For those more inclined toward plant-based eating, it can also be used to make healthy and delicious snacks (such as fruit rolls) and dehydrate herbs and spices in order to extend their shelf life.

Amazon

Sous vide is nothing new but the sleek ChefSteps Joule takes the technique to another level. Not only is it cooking with it faster and more efficient than with others, but it's also half the size of the typical setup. It's a must-buy for the home chef with limited space. 

Amazon

The Staub Perfect Pan is the one you want if you're ever banished to a desert island. This French-made cast iron, enamel-bottomed beauty features a classic design that looks great in any kitchen. And it's incredibly versatile, capable of handling food in a delicate saute or a high temperature fry. This pan is worthy of its name.

Amazon

These professional-grade knives will last a lifetime. They're an ideal gift idea for anyone who needs a blade upgrade. Made in Japan using high carbon steel, Dalstrong's Phantom blades cut food and maneuver with ease. This set of six covers all the slicing and dicing bases and the stylish magnetic block has six additional slots for when it's time to expand the collection. The best direct-to-consumer kitchen knives in 2020: Made In, Material, Brigade, Aura and more.

Made In

If $400 seems like too much to drop on a gift, consider outfitting your foodie friend or family member with a good chef's knife. Knives are one of the kitchen tools home chefs can often overlook or don't realize need an upgrade. Hook 'em up with one that's well-crafted, sharp and comfortable in the hand, like Made In's 8-incher, and they'll sing your praises every time it slides through an onion, carrot or turnip. It's perfectly balanced, forged for strength and available in cherry red, black or gray.

More gifts for foodies

This article was written in 2019 by David Klein and updated by David Watsky. 

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Best bread machines for home bakers in 2020 – CNET

Curious about the current obsession with freshly baked homemade bread but don't have the patience to actually knead, proof and bake a fresh loaf yourself? A bread machine is the perfect solution, and it's a quick way to achieve your delicious bread goals.

Using a bread machine is as easy as it gets: Just combine both your dry and wet ingredients in the appliance and let it do the rest of the work. In a few hours, you'll have a freshly baked loaf with a crispy crust and a light crumb (interior).

If you're in the market for one of these handy kitchen gadgets, the following are some of Chowhound's favorite bread machines to buy in 2020, based on our research, including user reviews and specs comparisons. We'll update this list periodically with the best bread machine options as we use new models. After all, no one ever tires of fresh bread.

Read more: 15 unexpected uses for your bread machine

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Williams Sonoma

Note: As freshly baked bread surges in popularity during the global pandemic, some of these bread making machines are temporarily out of stock -- but just keep checking back, and in the meanwhile, see how to make Crock-Pot bread in a slow cooker, how to bake bread in a skillet or Dutch oven, and even how to use your Instant Pot to help with proofing. (Or just stick to quick bread loaves such as beer bread and banana bread.) 

What to look for when buying a bread machine

As you start looking at bread machines, you'll find they vary significantly in shape, size and price. There are a few factors that contribute to these differences in bread making machine options, and you'll want to consider which features are most important for your needs.

First, automatic bread makers come in various sizes. This not only refers to the physical footprint of the appliance for baking bread (which can be substantial), but also the loaf size it can bake. Common bread maker sizes include 1- and 2-pound loaf models -- if you're only baking a loaf of bread for yourself, a smaller bread maker might work just fine, while larger families might need larger loaves to keep everyone satisfied.

You'll also want to think about the shape of the appliance's inner bread pan, as this will determine the shape of the loaf of bread. Many bread-making machines have square pans, which yield square loaves, but you can also find bread making models that make horizontal loaves that are closer to what you'd buy in the store.

Want to make different kinds of bread? Bread makers can only churn out specific types of bread depending on the bread flour and settings, so if you want to make wheat, whole grain, french bread, gluten-free or other varieties, you'll need a machine that has the appropriate settings. Some fancier bread machines even have nonbread settings, such as ones for cake!

Finally, bread makers often have additional features that let you customize the final product. Popular settings include crust color, delayed start, mix-in dispensers and even different loaf sizes.

It's a lot to think about, so to make your decision a little easier, we've combed the internet for the best bread machines, taking specs, popularity, ratings and professional reviews into consideration.

Zojirushi

If you're ready to leave grocery store bread in the past, the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Bread Maker is one of the top bread machines you can buy today. Unlike many other models, the Zojirushi Bread Maker creates traditional 2-pound rectangular loaves similar to what you buy from the store, and it boasts a variety of baking bread features that let you create amazing bread with minimal effort.

This appliance can make white, multigrain, whole wheat, gluten-free, salt-free, sugar-free and vegan bread, and it boasts double kneading blades and dual heaters for superior cooking results. You can control the automatic bread maker settings via the large LCD screen, adjusting things like the bread type, crust control and delay timer. The Zojirushi Bread Maker has a large glass viewing window that lets you see what's going on inside during the baking process and a sturdy inner bread pan, and it even features a rapid setting that whips up white or whole wheat bread in two and a half hours.

This bread machine comes with a liquid measuring cup, nested measuring cups and a measuring spoon, as well as a bread recipe book. While this Zojirushi Bread Maker is on the more expensive side, buyer reviews say it makes absolutely delicious bread that rivals handmade loaves. 

Hamilton Beach

High-end bread machines can cost several hundred dollars, and if you only make bread once in a blue moon, you might not want to empty your wallet for one. Luckily, there's the popular Hamilton Beach Digital Bread Maker, which you can call your own for about $100.

This automatic bread maker appliance lets you bake 1.5- or 2-pound loaves, and it has settings for white, French, quick, whole grain and sweet bread, a gluten free setting, as well as extras such as jam and cake. If you're in a hurry, you can also use the express programs, which are finished in around an hour. The large digital display includes a delay timer, and you can select from three crust settings, depending on your preference. This bread machine's inner baking pan is nonstick and dishwasher safe, making for easy clean up, and if you want to add nuts or fruit into your creation, there's an audible baking process reminder for when to do so.

According to buyer reviews, the Hamilton Beach Digital Bread Maker delivers impressive results, especially considering its affordable price. Many note that it's easy to use and does a great job with all types of bread. The only downside noted is that the bread making machine is a bit loud. (Also available but currently out of stock on Amazon and at Target.)

Zojirushi

As mentioned above, high-end bread makers can be quite pricey, and while the Zojirushi Home Bakery Maestro Breadmaker certainly isn't cheap, it is worth it. This splurge-worthy 1-pound bread machine does it all with a wide range of bread options, custom memory settings and even an automatic ingredient mix-in dispenser.

This thoughtfully designed bread machine can make just about any type of bread -- we're talking multigrain, whole wheat, quick whole wheat, gluten free, salt free, sugar free and vegan -- as well as bread dough, pizza dough and pasta dough. It can even make cake or jam. Additionally, the Zojirushi Maestro has three memory settings that allow you to set your own knead, rise and bake times to create a personal bread recipe. It also features an ingredient dispenser that automatically drops nuts, fruit or other add-ins into your bread at the right time.

The Zojirushi Home Bakery Maestro Breadmaker has a 13-hour delay timer, crust control and express setting, and it comes with a liquid measuring cup and measuring spoon. If you believe the glowing buyer reviews, this baked bread appliance may very well change your life, letting you create delicious loaves of bread that will wow your family and friends. (Also available but currently out of stock on Amazon.)

Williams Sonoma

Can't be contained to just one type of bread? Then you need an automatic bread maker model like the Cuisinart Bread Maker, which boasts 12 different preprogrammed settings, letting you make any loaf that suits your mood. This versatile bread machine can make 1, 1.5 or 2-pound loaves, but keep in mind its vertical design yields a tall, skinny shaped baked bread loaf -- not necessarily the best for sandwiches.

What can the Cuisinart Bread Maker do? It has programs for white bread, French, whole wheat, ultrafast, sweet and gluten free bread, as well as dough, artisan dough for artisan bread, jam, packaged bread mix, cake and bake-only (in case you're in the mood to knead by hand). There are three crust color options, and you can delay the baking cycle for up to 13 hours. Plus, the kneading paddle and bread pan are nonstick for easy clean-up -- all that for a reasonable price.

Williams Sonoma

The Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker is arguably the most versatile bread machine on this list thanks to its many, many settings. It's one of the only bread making machines that lets you choose from four different loaf sizes, ranging from 1 to 2.5 pounds, and it has 13 automatic and manual settings, plus nine custom settings to store your own baked bread recipes.

This automatic bread maker can make basic, whole wheat, rapid, gluten-free, crusty loaf, yeast-free and sweet bread, and it also has programs for pizza and pasta dough, jam and bake-only. It has three crust color options, a 13-hour delay timer and a pause button, but one of the most innovative bread making features is its collapsible kneading paddle, which minimizes the indent you often find on machine-baked bread. Oh, and the Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker also features an automatic fruit and nut dispenser. Basically, whatever type of bread you want to make, this machine has you covered. (Also available but currently out of stock on Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond.)

Oster

Most bread machines take around three hours to mix, knead and bake a loaf of bread, but if you want a faster option, the Oster 2-Pound Expressbake Breadmaker is the best bread machine for you. As its name implies, this model churns out 2-pound loaves of bread in under an hour with its Expressbake setting. It can also be used to create a variety of other types of bread, however, such as white, whole wheat, sweet and French bread.

This express bake bread machine model comes with 12 bread and three crust settings, and it features a large LCD screen, glass viewing window and 13-hour delay timer. It even has a warming setting to keep your bread loaf toasty until you're ready to eat. The Oster Expressbake comes with a measuring cup and spoon, and reviewers say it's a solid basic bread machine for people who don't want to spend too much money. (Also available but currently out of stock on Amazon, at Home Depot and Target.)

Cuisinart

Convection ovens are a baker's best friend, so it's no surprise that bread makers love the Cuisinart 2-Pound Convection Bread Maker. When you bake with this unique bread making machine, the convection feature circulates hot air around your loaf for superior crust color and texture. Plus, this bread baking appliance is packed with features, including three loaf sizes, three crust colors and 16 settings, including low-carb and gluten-free recipe options.

Other noteworthy features of the Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker include its 12-hour delay start, audible tone for mix-ins and glass viewing window. Reviewers say this bread machine is aesthetically pleasing thanks to its sleek stainless steel exterior, and most agree it's easy to use and yields delicious loaves of fresh bread. 

More for your kitchen 

This story was published earlier by Camryn Rabideau for Chowhound.

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The best beer subscription boxes – CNET

It seems as if there are always new beer options to try. And a beer subscription box is hands down the best way to try beers you can't find in your local shop. With so many pockets of amazing brewing all over the world, the FOMO associated with not being able to taste them is real. Enter beer boxes: Whether you're hunting for the perfect gift for a craft beer lover in your orbit or you are the beer enthusiast and want to try new, rare and hard-to-find offerings, look no further than the subscription box craze. 

Any craft-beer-glugging, "I wish this IPA were hoppier" suds fiend will surely appreciate a subscription to one of these popular beer clubs, designed especially for beer enthusiasts. Sign up for a beer box subscription and you can expect monthly boxes of carefully selected brews and featured beer picks in a range of styles, made using unique ingredients -- along with some inspired beer-themed accessories. 

Whether you love lager, ale, hoppy IPAssours or silky porters -- or you just crave a little beer merch -- there's a beer subscription box that'll keep you happy, month after month. Unless, of course, you prefer wine and wine clubs, but we've got you covered there too. Check out our picks of the best beer subscription box for every type of drinker. We'll update this list periodically as new options arrive.

Craft Beer Club

Craft Beer Club is arguably the most popular beer subscription box out there for the craft beer enthusiast and for good reason. It sends out monthly shipments of exceptional craft beers from around the country. Many of the craft brews have limited distribution, meaning a subscription to CBC might be your only shot of tasting those specialty brews. They also put a premium on fresh beer, with their selected breweries making a fresh batch just before boxes go out. The Craft Beer Club is $43 a month and features 12 carefully curated and hard-to-get beers in each box shipment.

Shutterstock

If hops make you happy, this is the monthly club for you (or another hoppy beer lover you'd like to treat). The HopHeads Beer Club sends three different hops-centric beers -- four of each -- every month so you can get your fill. While this is, unsurprisingly, heavy on IPAs of various styles, it also makes room for hoppy pale ale and red ales. These aren't just super bitter hop-you-over-the-head beers though; the club also spotlights "the many hop flavors and aromas available to today's brewers amidst the ever-expanding supply of new hop varieties," and includes imports as well as American selections. Pricing starts at $35 per month for three months.

Beer Drop

Some of the beer subscription boxes on this list don't leave much of the beer selection up to you but not so with Beer Drop. This beer delivery box startup offers different plans, but with all of them you can select the specific beer styles that go into your monthly shipments. That includes IPA beer, fruity-forward beers, Belgian beer and others. Monthly drops of microbrewery offerings start at $39 per month and your subscription can be canceled anytime. Also notable: These brews are all canned, so you'll never have to worry about a broken bottle.

The US Microbrewed Beer Club

This club dates back to 1994 and features high-quality, rare and award-winning artisanal beers from around the country. Each month, a team of experts tastes over 500 brews in consideration for that month's shipment, with only 20% of those beers making the cut. This is the perfect beer subscription box for a true beer snob working with a hypersensitive palate. There are five membership options starting at $30 per month plus shipping.

Rare Beer Club

The Rare Beer Club is the most selective of them all, featuring only two 750ml bottles of beer a month. It sends two separate styles per month and no two months will see the same ones at your door (unless you request or reorder). Don't be discouraged by the limited choices; it's quality you're here for and these beers are carefully curated. You have three buying options: two 750ml bottles per month ($39 plus shipping); four 750ml bottles per month ($55 plus shipping); or six 750ml bottles per month ($73 plus shipping). You'll often receive beers that use rare production techniques and ingredients, like aging through blending or in bourbon and cedar barrels. Plus, you'll get super-rare brews from all over the world, including from up-and-coming breweries in Brazil, Japan and Scandinavia.

Beer Across America

The original monthly beer club, founded in 1992, Beer Across America is dedicated to highlighting great craft brews from across the country. Each beer shipment includes 12 bottles -- four varieties of beer from two craft breweries per month, curated by a panel of beer experts. As with many such clubs, you'll also receive a monthly newsletter with more information about each featured brewery and tasting notes for each beer. Plans start at $40 per month with free shipping, making it one of the least expensive options on this list, and you can cancel at any time.

Starting with the second shipment, you can review each month's beer selections. If you see something you don't want, you can skip that shipment and wait for different beer next month -- you'll still receive the total number of shipments you signed up for. You get a bonus bar-style beer opener too.

First Sip Brew Box

Each box features merchandise like T-shirts, mugs and sunglasses from one amazing craft brewery every month, plus optional extras like beer-infused baked goods and beer-scented candles. With three subscription levels, starting at $21 per month, this is a great way to immerse yourself in the creative world of craft brewing and appreciate one brand at a time. It even offers a beer-themed box for your pet.

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A $49 Instant Pot and more big multicooker deals for Prime Day – CNET

Deal

Savings

Price

This story is part of Amazon Prime Day, CNET's guide on everything you need to know and how to make sure you get the best deal.

Prime Day has become so all-encompassing as a retail event that the term has come to include more than just the annual monster sale on Amazon. The annual sales spectacular has also spawned many knock-off savings events like Walmart's Big Save and Target's Deal Days, which are on now to coincide and directly compete with Prime Day. 

The convergence of these three major sales brings big deals on Instant Pot and Instant Pot-copycat brands this week. Since it is definitely pressure cooker season, we've scoured the sales to find the best discounts on Instant Pots, slow cookers and other multicookers. So far we've found a $49 6-quart Instant Pot on Walmart's website and a sleek, black and silver Crock-Pot Express multicooker available online from Target, among other deals. We'll update this story with more of Amazon's Prime Day deals as they become available.

Insignia

This is about as inexpensive as you'll find any multicooker, with all the functionality of an Instant Pot but for about half the price. The Insignia scores high marks in verified-purchase reviews on Best Buy and has six quarts of cooking capacity -- which is more than enough to handle easy weeknight dinners for a family of four.

Crock-Pot

Best known for its slow cookers, Crock-Pot has its own version of the Instant Pot now and it scores extremely high marks in verified-purchase reviews from Target. It's down to $50 right now. The Express does everything that your standard Instant Pot does, including pressure cook, slow cook, warm, steam, sauté and more. If you dig a sleek, black and silver aesthetic, this is definitely your pick. 

Instant Pot

For a subtler Instant Pot, the 6-quart Lux is also on sale, down to just $59 and available in red or navy blue. The 6-quart Lux sports 12 cooking programs and a programmable timer. Free two-day shipping is included. 

Instant Pot

This multicooker does not have Instant Pot's signature pressure cooking function but it does slow cook, sear and sauté, steam, bake, roast and warm. It has a full 6-quart cooking capacity and sleek, modern look. 

Instant Pot

The Instant Pot Duo Crisp is likely the most versatile in the entire line since the crisping lid turns your multicooker into an air fryer. Make tender meats and flavorful stews down below and then air fry up a batch of chicken wings or french fries in seconds, or make fall-off-the-bone pork ribs and finish them with the air fryer lid for a crispy, crunchy outside. 

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Hot bloom cold brew is for people who wish it tasted better – CNET

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Chanuth Naknattee/500px/Getty Images

If you're wondering how to make better iced coffee, hot bloom cold brew might be just the trick you're looking for.

Don't like cold brew? You're not alone. In fact, there's a whole group of coffee drinkers who aren't a fan -- especially since it's made with only cold water and no hot water.

"I believe the people who don't like cold brew tend to dislike it because of its lower acidity, fuller body and lack of complexity," says Marcos Iglesias, Parlor Coffee's educator.

The good news is, if you aren't a cold brew lover, your coffee exploration doesn't have to stop there. There's a hot brewing method that can act as an alternative to regular ol' cold brew. It's called hot bloom cold brew.

Read more: Everything you need to know about iced coffee and cold brew

What is hot bloom cold brew?

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Chowhound

"Hot bloom cold brew involves a normal cold brew process that utilizes a hot water 'bloom' to allow the coffee to give off a bit more complexity and acidity," Iglesias says.

David Belanich, co-founder and president of Joyride Coffee, adds: "A coffee bloom occurs when water first comes into contact with coffee," Belanich says. "It's an important step of all brewing and creates flavors that can have different characteristics from the rest of the cup."

How to make hot bloom cold brew

1. First, you want to take a cold brew maker and fill it with 30 grams of coffee.

2. Then, hit the coffee briefly (for 20 to 40 seconds) with boiling water to begin the initial extraction.

3. This is then "followed by a more traditional cold brewing process, where you soak the beans in cold water for 12 to 16 hours," Belanich says. During this step, you can just leave your coffee sit to soak on the kitchen counter or in the refrigerator.

During the soaking process, Belanich adds that you need to be paying close attention to how your brew is developing.

"Whereas cold brewing is more forgiving, you're threading the needle a little here, as hot extraction happens a lot faster than cold," Belanich says. "So, depending on the amount of time you've devoted to the hot bloom step, you'll need to adjust your cold step accordingly."

By making hot bloom cold brew, "it could yield a slightly brighter acidity," Iglesias says. But, since the final product may end up being too similar to cold brew, Iglesias recommends making regular iced coffee if you don't end up loving your results after making hot bloom cold brew.

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Chowhound

"If you're already going through the trouble to heat up your water, why not just do the entire brew with it? It'll likely yield a brighter, juicier cup of iced coffee that brews in less than 3 percent the total time it takes to make cold brew," Iglesias says.

He adds: "If you decide you want an iced coffee before heading out for the day, you can have it in minutes instead of hours."

Read more: 12 coffee products you never knew you needed

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A $60 Keurig and $40 multicooker are here to make life easier – CNET

keurig-k50
Keurig

The Keurig K-Classic single-serve pod coffee maker is billed as a coffee maker -- and it does, of course, make coffee from the hundreds of different roasters who have their coffee in pod form -- but it also brews delicious hot tea, chai, hot chocolate, hot cider and more with one push of the button. Right now, one of the brand's most popular models, the K-Classic K50, is half off down to just $60 (originally $120) at Best Buy. If you're not the type who enjoys fumbling with bags of beans, grinders and filters, this will make coffee time as easy as it gets. The Keurig K50 that's on offer is available in blue and features a large 48-ounce reservoir and dishwasher-safe removable drip tray for easy cleaning. By comparison, the same model is selling for $80 at Amazon.

Best Buy also has a Crock-Pot 6-quart multicooker (think Instant Pot) for under $40 today. It's a seriously helpful tool for meal-planning or weeknight dinners when time and inspiration are nowhere to be found.

Best Buy will ship the Keurig or multicooker for free. Or choose free no-contact curbside pickup at a local brick-and-mortar and grab them later today, if inventory is available.

Read moreGreat coffee subscriptions for every type of coffee drinker

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Read more: Best coffee accessories of 2020

First published earlier this year. Updated with new deal details.

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A $60 Keurig and $40 multicooker are here to make life easier – CNET

keurig-k50
Keurig

The Keurig K-Classic single-serve pod coffee maker is billed as a coffee maker -- and it does, of course, make coffee from the hundreds of different roasters who have their coffee in pod form -- but it also brews delicious hot tea, chai, hot chocolate, hot cider and more with one push of the button. Right now, one of the brand's most popular models, the K-Classic K50, is half off down to just $60 (originally $120) at Best Buy. If you're not the type who enjoys fumbling with bags of beans, grinders and filters, this will make coffee time as easy as it gets. The Keurig K50 that's on offer is available in blue and features a large 48-ounce reservoir and dishwasher-safe removable drip tray for easy cleaning. By comparison, the same model is selling for $80 at Amazon.

Best Buy also has a Crock-Pot 6-quart multicooker (think Instant Pot) for under $40 today. It's a seriously helpful tool for meal-planning or weeknight dinners when time and inspiration are nowhere to be found.

Best Buy will ship the Keurig or multicooker for free. Or choose free no-contact curbside pickup at a local brick-and-mortar and grab them later today, if inventory is available.

Read moreGreat coffee subscriptions for every type of coffee drinker

Now playing: Watch this: How to clean your Keurig with distilled vinegar

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Read more: Best coffee accessories of 2020

First published earlier this year. Updated with new deal details.

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8 smart ways to keep cool in the kitchen this summer – CNET

keep-cool-header
Chowhound

Summer can really turn up the heat in your kitchen; here's how to keep cool with summer recipes and smart cooking tips for when it's just too hot. While a warm and cozy kitchen feels nice in the winter, it can be stifling when temperatures ramp up in the summer. Using large appliances, such as your oven or stove, can make your kitchen too hot to handle. The heat can even spread to other areas of your home and make your air conditioning work overtime. But you don't have to choose between cooking and staying cool this summer. Try these strategies for keeping yourself well-fed without wilting.

1. Stay hydrated

green-apple-sparkler-chowhoun-670x419-1
Chowhound

Hydration is the No. 1 rule for any summer activity, and cooking is no exception -- even if you're indoors. If you're working in the kitchen, always have a glass of water with ice ready to drink from as you go. Want to punch it up a bit? Try water infusions for more flavor and refreshment. Planning to sweat? Add sea salt and lemon to boost electrolytes and flavor.

2. Don't cook

ceviche-tostada-recipe-chowhound-670x446
Chowhound

Don't want to heat up your kitchen? Don't cook. But that doesn't mean you can't eat. Focus on no-cook, fresh foods, such as summer saladsceviche and cold noodles. Even slicing up fresh fruit or vegetables like cucumbers and melons can be a refreshing and healthy summer treat. And no-cook foods help beat the heat in two ways: by not heating up your kitchen or your body as you consume them.

More ideas from Chowhound:

3. Cook outside

grill-pizza-chowhound
Chowhound

Take the heat out of the kitchen by cooking outdoors this summer. BBQ grilled chicken or steaks are classics for the grill but don't forget you can grill summer favorites like corn on the cob or watermelon, too. You might be hot while you're outside using a grill or smoker to heat foods, but your kitchen can stay cool.

More ways to use your grill:

4. Use small appliances

crock-pot-chocolate-cake-recipe-chowhound
Chowhound

Minimizing use of the oven and stove can help you avoid heating up your kitchen. Small appliances can cook your food just as well while emitting less heat than large appliances. Try using a toaster oven instead of your wall oven, or a panini press instead of the stovetop. You'd be surprised how versatile small appliances can be. Your slow cooker and Instant Pot aren't just for winter soups and stews, either. Think of summer recipes you can achieve on your countertop, like Instant Pot pork carnitas. And don't turn your nose up at your microwave, which can zap rice, quinoa, vegetables and more while generating practically no heat.

Check out these Chowhound recipe collections for more ideas:

5. Batch-cook

If you're going to heat up your kitchen, make it worth it. When you use your oven or stovetop, make larger quantities than normal. That way, you can use precooked leftovers, which means you have food ready to go without heating up your kitchen again. For example, if you roast a chicken in your oven, you can use leftovers to make tacos, chicken salad nachos, and other meals that don't require firing up your oven again.

Get more tips:

6. Cook when it's cool

no-cook-tomato-pasta-sauce-recipe-chowhound-670x447
Chowhound

Cooking in your kitchen when it's already hot outside (and maybe already hot in your home) means you'll only add to the heat. Plan ahead and strategize your cooking times for when it's not as hot. The best time to cook to avoid the heat is in the morning or later in the evening. That might sound easier said than done, but you could bake bread in the morning, or cook proteins or pastas with breakfast so they'll be ready to go for dinner.

7. Use fans

fan
Amazon

Airflow can help cool down your kitchen. If you're using your stove, turn on the range hood vent. It's there to remove not just grease, fumes and odors but smoke, heat and steam that could get trapped and heat up your kitchen while you're cooking. Plus, you can keep a fan on in the kitchen to move air around and cool it down. You can also position your fan to move hot air out, or bring cold air in with a cool, wet towel. This battery-operated kitchen fan with suction cup is just $20 on Amazon.

8. Limit lighting

Sunlight and even artificial interior light can generate heat, and when you're in the heat of summer, every degree counts. Dim the lights, shut any curtains, close your blinds and limit how many lights you turn on. You don't need to work in the dark but be wary of turning on lots of overhead lights.

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Best baby food delivery and subscriptions for 2020 – CNET

The coronavirus crisis has put a cherry on top of all the stresses involved in being a new parent. Now that people are juggling their family life and work life -- often in the same space -- a baby food delivery service could help keep everything together. Seriously, you don't want to spend any of your precious time filling a tiny glass jar up with pureed fruit, cereal or other homemade baby food. Let someone else do that for you.

Luckily, these days, baby food delivery companies are as convenient and abundant as meal delivery services for grownups (that means there's a lot -- you can't throw a rock these days without hitting a meal delivery service or two). But with so many choices, how do you find the best option that will work for you and your growing family?

We all know that choosing healthy food is important, no matter someone's age. For babies, it's even more critical. Nutritious, high-quality baby food can help ensure proper development and growth (not to mention fewer meltdowns). If you're struggling with what to feed junior, baby food subscription service options lay out all the nutritional information and ingredients. The best baby food delivery services also set up a plan so you can have the best veggie purees and organic food for your tykes delivered to your door -- weekly or monthly -- so you're never without. These baby meals are made with fresh food, and are sure to please even a picky eater.

Babies require different nutrition and food types depending on their age and stage of development, so many of the best baby food delivery services curate meal plan deliveries and special packages based on those specific needs. Options include customized baby food pouches, organic purees for an infant or more complete toddler meals that include solid food and finger food made with organic ingredients that can be easily grabbed by tiny hands. What's more is that each meal delivery service offers a wealth of options, ensuring your baby doesn't get bored with her food and instilling healthy eating habits that will serve them well in life.

The following are seven of the best baby food delivery services for babies, toddlers and busy parents:

These services are independently chosen by our editors and updated as we try new ones.

Read more: The best healthy meal kits (for adults) in 2020 

If you want baby food meals that are healthy, fresh, fun and full of flavor look no further than Yumble Kids. This food subscription company offers a variety of weekly meal plans, nutrients and ingredients for young children, including fun solid food recipes such as pizza pockets with mashed potatoes and broccoli or cheese rotini with green beans. What's even better is that there's no cooking necessary: Just warm them up and you're good to go.

Frequency and pricing: Starting at six meals per week at $5.99 per meal, $35.95 for the first two weeks.

Little Spoon offers a wide variety of baby food and ingredient choices specially designed to boost various areas of your baby's development and health. After you answer a few questions about your baby, Little Spoon will create a customized nutrition plan for you and send fresh weekly deliveries of healthy food -- simply choose how many baby meals you need per day. As an added bonus, the fresh baby food purees are made with organic ingredients and no preservatives.

Frequency and pricing: Three plan sizes (one, two, or three times per day), pricing dependent on location.

If you're still breastfeeding or bottle feeding, it's important to eat well and keep your body healthy -- for you and your baby. The Boobie Box will help you do just that, as it provides a variety of helpful products to aid in your nursing and eventually baby-led weaning. Each month, you'll get a box specially curated by a lactation counselor, including items like lactation teas, drinks and cookies, breastfeeding supplies and even toys.

Frequency and pricing: Starts at $25.50 per month.

Tykes not eating solid foods yet? Don't worry, Yumi has you covered. This company offers three "stages" of baby foods, including single-ingredient purees like purple sweet potato, multi-ingredient purees like peaches and blackberry chia seed pudding and chunky puree options like a green vegetable medley combo. You can work your way through the sequential stages, from nutritious infant meals to toddler meals, with weekly fresh deliveries, gradually introducing your children to new flavors, nutrients and textures, like quinoa, wheat germ oil and chia seeds. 

Frequency and pricing: Three plan sizes (one, two, or three times per day), starting around $5 per day.

You might see a familiar face if you venture to the Once Upon a Farm website. That's right, this baby food delivery company is run by actress and mother-of-three Jennifer Garner. The company delivers fresh food pouches of cold-pressed baby food purees made from certified organic fruits and organic vegetables (like Magic Velvet Mango and Baby Bear Butternut Squash), plus it offers organic food for toddlers and young children, too. You can even purchase Once Upon a Farm products individually to see if your little ones like the organic baby food pouches before committing to a subscription.

Frequency and pricing: Starting at $2.69 per cup or pouch of organic ingredients and free shipping for subscription-based services. $2.99 per cup or pouch plus $12 shipping for one-time purchases.

Nurture Life

Whether you need fresh, delicious meals for your baby, toddler or child, Nurture Life has you covered. This baby food brand focuses on delivering nutritionally balanced, perfectly portioned meals for children of all ages and all of its meals are ready to serve in three minutes or less. Food is shipped refrigerated -- not frozen -- and, to be honest, if you don't have time to shop for food at the grocery store, it might be the closest thing you can get to homemade baby food by a personal chef.

Frequency and pricing: Starting at eight jars at $35 per week, plus shipping.

Expose your little ones to new tastes, textures and smells with food from Tiny Organics. This company supplies a variety of soft, organic finger food choices that are perfect for babies eight months and older and you can choose to get deliveries every two or four weeks. Tiny Organics promotes self-feeding as a way to make mealtimes more enjoyable and help your babies develop fine motor skills. Also, the food looks so tasty you might be tempted to steal a bite.

Frequency and pricing: Starting at $3.52 to $4.12 per meal for a subscription-based service (one-time purchasing also permitted).

More food delivery services

This story was written by Camryn Rabideau and originally posted at Chowhound. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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The best Father’s Day gifts for every kind of foodie dad – CNET

This story is part of Father's Day Gift Guide 2020, featuring our top picks for dads who love tech.

Even though my dad always tells me not to get him anything for Father's Day because he says he doesn't need anything (sound familiar?), I can still spot the twinkle in his eye when I see him opening a gift from me -- particularly when the gift is a fun new toy for his kitchen.

Since he's our resident master of all things breakfast (and has recently been perfecting his eggs-in-a-hash-brown-basket), my plan for Father's Day is to get him something small but mighty to assist in that quest, like a Frywall or a better box grater. Although, on second thought... he's also been talking more and more about collecting wine, and he tells me how much he loves his Le Creuset cookware every time I see him using it. He's just giving away gift ideas!

There are many sides to any dad, so there are many perfect gift options, too. This is doubly true if your dad is some kind of foodie. Luckily, when you're on the hunt for a Father's Day food gift, there are options for everyone from beer aficionados to dads with a sweet tooth. So, whether your dad is a breakfast chef, aspiring oenophile and cast-iron connoisseur like mine, or something else entirely, I've got plenty of ideas for a gift that's sure to get those eyes sparkling.

Read more: Best portable grill for 2020

Whether it's bacon and hash browns or fried chicken and collards, this handy little tool -- a BPA-free silicone cone that fits directly into your pan -- helps minimize the mess. That way Dad can fry to his heart's content without worrying about those pesky splatters getting everywhere -- what a great gift for Father's Day! 

Knife Aid

There's a good chance your dad has a set of knives and an even better chance that some of them are dull -- no good for slicing a perfectly grilled steak or pork chop. Sharpening knives by hand -- and doing it well -- is a tricky business, so leave it to the experts. Knife Aid sends a package out to Dad's house to safely pack and ship his knives, and send them to be sharpened by pros. You can send him a gift card or go ahead and order a sharpening and the initial box will show up in the mail. It's $59 for four knives ($15 per knife) but if you consider they only really need this kind of treatment once a year or so, it's absolutely worth it as a Father's Day gift. It's also probably something he wouldn't do on his own.

If he's been making do with a second-rate meat thermometer (or -- gasp -- is one of those people who cuts in to see if it's done), your dad is going to love the MK4 from Thermoworks as a Father's Day gift. This highly accurate little tool comes in 10 colors, gives you a temp in two to three seconds and will take all the guesswork out of centerpiece roasts. 

Chef Works

A classic full-coverage denim bib apron from Chef Works will keep Dad looking fresh even while he's doing his thing on the grill or in the kitchen. He'd be nuts not to wear it!

Made In

This is one of our all-time favorite chef's knives from one of our all-time favorite direct-to-consumer cookware brands. It's forged from nitrogen-treated steel, sharp as all heck and has excellent balance. With no middleman upsell, $89 is a sweet price for a quality kitchen knife for dad. At a slightly lower price you can sag this solid Zwilling 7-inch chef's knife for just $50 for Father's Day. 

Give Dad a reason to fire up the barbie with this awesome Father's Day gift from Snake River Farms, which, along with Double R Ranch, is part of Agri Beef, a family-owned and operated business dedicated to producing the highest-quality beef and pork in the US. This option includes two hand-cut American Wagyu top sirloins that have been wet-aged for 21-plus days for improved flavor and texture. But this company's got all kinds of options to choose from if Dad prefers another cut.

Read more: The best meat delivery services in 2020

Wild Alaskan Company

I can't think of a gift my dad would like more for Father's Day than a delivery of wild salmon fished from cold Alaskan waters. Wild Alaskan Company is one of our favorite purveyors of the good stuff -- and not just salmon. Wild Alaskan Company functions as a subscription service but you can cancel anytime. 

Read more: The best online seafood delivery of 2020

If your dad is already the type who keeps his finishing EVOO separate from his cooking oil, he'll love this spiffy set from new direct-to-consumer brand Brightland for Father's Day. It features two different high-polyphenol-count olive oils pressed from hand-picked heirloom California olives: one perfect for soups and stews, the other great with salads or sweets. 

Ooni

If your dad has a patio, deck or backyard, this outdoor pizza oven will totally change the game for pizza night. It heats up in a flash and is small enough to bring along for tailgating or beach picnics, which is a major plus. It's also great for cooking more than just pizza. 

This five-pack of artisanally made cocktail bitters -- in flavors like ginger, smoked chili and orange -- will surely inspire Dad to whip up some new cocktails. If he's not feeling creative, all of them would be perfect in an Old Fashioned. 

Bachan's

A sauce that's good enough to gift for Father's Day. Bachan's Japanese BBQ is a vibrant blend of soy sauce, mirin and tomato paste with ginger, onion garlic and toasted sesame. Dynamite on everything from burgers to chicken, steak and more. If he digs teriyaki-style sauces, it's great as a marinade or stir-fried with noodles and rice too.

Goldbelly

If your dad loves a good pastrami on rye but can't make it to New York this year, this package from third-generation New York Deli Kenny & Ziggy's has everything he needs to make an epic pastrami sandwich. The package feeds roughly four people and includes an entire pound of triple-smoked pastrami, eight slices of Jewish rye, pickles and a 12-ounce bottle of their signature deli mustard.

Used by the best restaurants the world over, the Coravin will let Dad pop special bottles -- even champagne -- without worrying about the wine getting oxidized if he doesn't finish the whole thing. 

Get it? Dad jokes aside, if he's a dairy freak, Dad will love this cheese of the month subscription gift. Each shipment includes three half-pound cheese selections, hand-picked by the experts at Murray's. 

Thermomix

Splurge alert! Thermomix multipurpose kitchen appliance is not a budget buy but for the chef dad who has every last kitchen gadget, he probably doesn't have this... yet. What does a Thermomix do? It might be easier to describe what it doesn't do, but we'll give it a shot. It's a food processor, blender, rice cooker, slow cooker, sous vide, (*takes breath*) stand mixer, kitchen scale, fermenter and more. Thermomix also uses cutting-edge, intuitive software to walk you through literally thousands of recipes. It's as close as you'll get to having a sous chef of your own without having to shell out an hourly wage and benefits.

More foodie gifts

This story was originally written by Corinne Baldwin and has been subsequently updated by David Watsky.

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