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Customer Reviews: 44
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Helpful Votes: 888

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Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder, Red
Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder, Red
Price: $99.95
13 used & new from $92.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Mine Became Dangerous and Broke, June 24, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought my grinder in 2011 from Amazon. I used it on a semi regular basis for 1 year then it sat on the shelf for 2 years. I used it for a month, then the motor burned out. There are two switches, one to turn on the power (but not the grinder) and a button to turn on the grinder with the timer.

Ever since it was new, if I kept the grinder plugged in and the power switch turned on, the unit became warm even though the grinder was not on. They warn you not to keep the unit plugged in and the switch on. That in itself is inconvenient. One morning I left the unit plugged in and the power switch on. While I was at work, the unit turned on and started grinding by itself. When I got home it was still running but the motor was binding. The push button that turns the grinder off and on was not working. I had to unplug the unit and throw it away. I am very lucky it didn't burn my house down.

This unit has a flawed electrical design that I cannot endorse.

Emson Electric 5Qt Smoker- The Only Indoor Pressure Smoker-Cook Your BBQ Brisket, Pressure Smoke Cold Cheese Or Fish
Emson Electric 5Qt Smoker- The Only Indoor Pressure Smoker-Cook Your BBQ Brisket, Pressure Smoke Cold Cheese Or Fish
Offered by ShopAsSeenOnTV
Price: $128.99
20 used & new from $116.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful Suggestion To Prevent Interior Pot Scratching Update, May 24, 2014
The Emson smoking racks and smoker cup have sharp edges at the feet contacting the non stick pot, thus after several uses, the non stick coating will be scratched. I solved this problem by buying a silicone based grilling sheet (I got the Cookina @ Home Depot for $8) and cutting out a circular pattern to fit at the bottom of the non stick pot. Voila!! No more scratches. Both racks and smoker cup feet now rests on the grilling sheet which can withstand 500F, above the temp range of this Emson.
1. If you only need to smoke 1-4lbs of meat or veggies, and need it quickly, this is perfect. You don't have to fire up your big smoker. Once your food is seasoned and pre-cooking prepared, only takes a few minutes to start smoking.
2. This pot does cold smoking meaning if you want to smoke your foods but want it grilled or baked somewhere else or not cooked at all like cheeses, you can do it with this. This is a very handy feature if you want to get a deep smoke flavor in your steaks or chops but don't want the smoker to cook it.
3. The smoker mess is contained to the small footprint of the Emson in the smoking pot, racks and lid.
4. For a smoker, you can set it and forget it...and I have. The unit is timed so if you get distracted with other things at home, it shuts itself off.
5. Economical with wood chips. A standard 180 cu in/1.5 lb standard bag of wood chips ($4-$7) will last between 50-100 smokes in your Emson.
5. Pressure cooking really cooks food fast. However....see THE BAD>>>>>
1. During cold smoking there is no pressure to seal the unit so wisps of smoke escape from the unit. Unless you want your house to smell smoky, you need to cold smoke under the stove hood or plug it in outside.
2. Smoking and pressure cooking does not give you the maillard reaction you need for that browned/seared taste of meat. Don't expect any burnt ends here. So you have to add an extra step for that. Putting your food in a 400-500F oven for a few minutes can give your food that quick sear. Also using the cold smoke feature can give your foods that smoke flavor, then you can separately cook your meat either grilling or into an oven.
3. Also don't expect to see smoke rings if that is important to you. Not enough slow cook smoke time to have the wood's nitrogen dioxide to interact with the meat. You can fake a smoke ring by using a salt tenderizer that has sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite.
1. If you like your kitchen appliances clean and sparkling on both the outside and inside, this is not for you. The outside can be kept sparkling but the inside will take on a dull brown/grey tone as you smoke more and more. Smoking stain stainless steel. Just a fact of life.
2. No burnt ends. <<Big deal for me.
3. No smoke rings. <<Not a big deal for me

This DOES NOT replace the great traditional smokers and time honored techniques. It is far from that (especially burnt ends). However, if you do not have the time to smoke and know what limitations you have with this Emson, this is the next best thing for that smoky flavored food in less than an hour or two (includes prep and cleanup).

UPDATE 31 May 2014
1. I got smoke rings!! I stuffed a 6 lb pork shoulder into the Emson and got smoke rings by doing 3 smoke cycles. I filled the wood chip cup and cold smoked for 1 hour. I did this again. Then I filled the cup again and hot smoked for 1.5 hours. Cutting the meat, I got a deep 1/4" smoke ring. I used both adler and hickory wood chips
2. I got the E2 error message. When smoking a pork shoulder, the water level reached the smoker probe. I think that set off the error message. After emptying out the pot and resetting the smoker it is working fine again...I hope....I will keep an eye on this and update this review if it doesn't work.

CDN DTP482 Programmable Probe Thermometer/Timer
CDN DTP482 Programmable Probe Thermometer/Timer
Price: $23.91
19 used & new from $18.00

Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have own this CDN thermometer since 2005. It has been a very good but has a few quirks.
1. The weak link is the probe. They go bad. I have gone through 2 probes so far. It costs about $12 to replace it. A good way to test it is to stick the probe into a pot of boiling water...BE CAREFUL!!! Water boils at 212F. My CDN thermometer/probe usually shows 210F. That is close enough for my purposes. A Taylor instant read thermometer that I also use shows 212.0F But I can't leave the Taylor in the oven to monitor the temperature.
2. I just use this to read temperature. All the other functions are a mystery to me because I cannot read the small LCD wording on the thermometer.
3. Cannot be turned off. You will go through a AAA battery every year unless you physically take it out of the unit after every use.

Overall, this is a really good unit, just not perfect.

Seiko Men's SNE058 Gold Tone Solar Champagne Dial Watch
Seiko Men's SNE058 Gold Tone Solar Champagne Dial Watch
Offered by Royal Shopping
Price: $70.00
13 used & new from $70.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Out of My 3 Dozen Timepieces, This is My "GO TO" Watch, April 11, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For work, shopping, social venues (neighborhood to even Black Tie dinners), spectator events...this is the watch I reach for first 100% of the time. I reach for my other Casio Solar "Atomic" (Ft. Collins timekeeping signal) watch when I travel (dual time zone model) or go swimming.
1. Styling: 5 Stars. It is simply elegant. It looks better in person than the photographs. The watch face is textured that gives it "depth." it is a very attractive, subdued accessory that doesn't become your styling focal point like an Omega or Rolex would be.
2. Timekeeping: 5 Stars. I have atomic clocks in the house and this watch tracks them under a minute over several months.
3. Ease of use: 5 Stars. It is simple; time of day, calendar date, day of week.
4. Waterproofing/Ruggedness: 3 Stars. Ok if you splash water on it when washing hands. Only improvement I would suggest for this watch is to have it rated for swimming.
5. Watchband: 5 Stars. I am of average build (17x33 shirt size) and this watchband is very comfortable. It is the expansion type so there are no sizing and removing links to fuss around. The expansion tension is just right so it holds the watch in plance but doesn't feel constrictive after wearing it for 10 hours.
6. Convenience: 5 Stars. It is solar. No batteries, no winding or having to keep it moving everyday. I am convinced that solar is the best way to go if you keep a watch for years and not have to adjust or service it periodically
7. Price/Value: 5 Stars. At under $100, it is the best value for me for my uses.

Coffee Bean Direct Pu-Erh Black Tea, 1-Pound
Coffee Bean Direct Pu-Erh Black Tea, 1-Pound

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Tea If You Can't Find Pu-Erh "Bricks", February 9, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have drinking Pu-Erh tea all my life (during my childhood in the pie sized round hockey puck shaped brick of solid tea that you would break off as you need to brew it). This is the loose leaf version of it and the next best thing if you can't find the bricks in your local oriental store. The leaves are broken and not as whole as found in the bricks. So I think this is the factory left over broken pieces of tea that is not used in the bricks and probably why it is relatively inexpensive.

I like strong tea and this is one favorite way on how I have prepared this tea. I like this combination when I both feel great and not so great (upset tummy or feeling crummy like a cold coming on)

If I want tea in the morning, I brew it overnight or if I want it at dinner time, I brew it in the morning.

1. I fill a single Frieling Stainless Steel Tea Cone with Pu-Erh tea. I fill another tea cone with peppermint tea.
2. I place both filled tea cones in a stainless steel 1 quart thermos and fill with boiling water.
3. I seal it up and let it sit overnight.
4; In the morning it is still steaming hot and ready to drink.

Offered by FSWDEALS
Price: $399.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Far The Best Watch Winder I Have Owned, October 14, 2013
1. I bought my winder from 1Sale A Day a few weeks ago. Mine was labeled "Rosewood" and not "Red Wood," but it looks identical to this one
2. The finish looks perfect and I am very happy with the looks
3. So far, it is very quiet. I have owned 6 winders in the past. Some stopped working which is why I bought this one to try out. All the others were loud enough to interrupt my sleep and others in the room with the winders. This one, is extremely quiet and you can barely hear it is on.
4. My winder has only one setting, 6 minutes on (four 90 second cycles that reverse each cycle), 30 minutes off, which is slightly different than this one.
5. Instructions recommend winding your watches fully before putting in the winder. I didn't have time for that so I had 7 watches that were completely unwound and stopped. This winder brought them all up so that they are all wound and functioning.
6. Overall, I am very happy with this winder, the looks, and it is quiet. There is more than enough room to store over a dozen watches if you don't mind piling them on top of each other in the "static," non-turning part of the display.

I plan to update this review if problems arise over time...

Genuine YiXing Teapot - Simplicity
Genuine YiXing Teapot - Simplicity

5.0 out of 5 stars DRINKING TEA FOR THE FIRST TIME, June 22, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Genuine YiXing Teapot - Simplicity
Until I read up about YiXing clay and how the Chinese drink tea in this teapot, I never knew how much flavor is in "regular" tea. I learned that a traditional way of drinking tea is to drink the tea in very small in a small espresso cup. Brewing time is between 20 to 40 seconds for each brew and you can brew the same tea leaves about 3 times before changing it out. It is also recommended you only use each YiXing teapot for only one type of tea because the pot becomes seasoned to that type of tea.

I first used this pot for silver needle tea. What an incredible difference than the standard "let the tea brew for 20 minutes in a pot." The tea has floral, fruity and some nutty notes. The tea has a hint bitterness but has a very earthy but tasty overtone. Drinking tea in this manner has made a big difference for me.

I can't say the YiXing clay makes a difference in the taste of the tea vs another pot, but researching this clay help me discover a new way to drink tea. This clay pot is attractive, inexpensive and a good way to be introduced to this way of drinking tea.

This type of clay teapot uses unsealed clay surfaces on the inside of the pot as part of the process to brew the tea and the mystic of YiXing clay. So you can rub the interior and have a little red clay on your fingertips.

Nutri Bullet NBR-12 12-Piece High-Speed Blender/Mixer System
Nutri Bullet NBR-12 12-Piece High-Speed Blender/Mixer System
Price: $89.00
139 used & new from $55.59

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IMPORTANT WARRANTY INFORMATION, June 22, 2013
I think is this an excellent product that delivers a great drink that maximizes your nutrition absorption of a wide variety of foods. Chewing food is variable but is notoriously inefficient in breaking down raw foods especially dark leafy greens and seeds/nuts. The Nutri Bullet does a great job of breaking down kale, flax seeds and other similar foods to a level MUCH better than what I can chew. I now consume much more vegetables and fruits in my diet. As a result I feel better and have lost 10 pounds in a few months without "trying" to diet. Because the unit is much smaller than any other competing blender, I take my unit with me on trips across country.

I bought my Nutri Bullet early in 2013 directly from the manufacturer's website because at the time I bought it, the total costs were the same as any vendor on Amazon. By buying direct, it guarantees your purchase is registered with the company immediately. That paid off for me.

After a couple of months of use the motor suddenly quit in April 2013. I called the warranty number. They found my purchase invoice, I told them my unit Serial #, and for $4.95 shipping charges, they mailed out a new motor unit and lid/blade unit. They told me they made improvements to the lid and sent me a new one as part of the warranty shipment. The service was courteous and hassle-free.

I received the new unit about 1.5 weeks after my call. I discovered that the new lid had a stronger hub housing that uses more metal than plastic which appears to make it more sturdy and durable. The shape and angle of the four blades were also different and appears to be done for more efficient blending. Also the seal around the inner edge of the lid is almost twice as wide and thicker. This change looks like it was done to minimize the complaints about leaks. Overall, the changes to the lid looks like it makes it a much better unit by a significant amount.

So far my Nutri Bullet works perfectly. I had one leak with my old lid because of my fault of not tightening it down enough. This new lid seems to be easier to make a tight seal. No leaks so far with this new lid. If I had another older unit, I would definately look into getting this new improved lid.

Overall 5 stars for the Nutri Bullet, 5 stars for the Nutri Bullet warranty department and 5 stars to the Nutri Bullet company for making improvements to their product by making it more durable rather than cheaper.


5.0 out of 5 stars Light My Fire Firesteel BBQ Model Makes You a Survivorman, October 10, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Firesteel
By no means do I have any of the skills Les Stroud or Bear Grylls have in starting a fire. However using the BBQ version of the Firesteel makes me perform like a Survivorman pro.

1. It is easy to hold and use. Yes it is large, but that makes it easy to handle and gives you enough room to strike the magnesium hard and fast.
2. The large size also help produce A LOT of hot sparks. Igniting toilet paper, paper towels, etc is very easy. There are enough high intensity sparks to even make this a decent signaling device.

If i was in a survival situation, I know I wouldn't care about a light and small firestarter, but I would care if i could start a fire quickly. This BBQ Firesteel is perfect for me.

Samsonite F'Lite GT 31" Hardside Wheeled Luggage - Black
Samsonite F'Lite GT 31" Hardside Wheeled Luggage - Black
Price: $170.99
2 used & new from $170.99

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Durable Luggage for Frequent Travelers, October 10, 2012
I fly 100,000 miles a year and have seen the worst airline baggage handlers can dish out. My packed luggage usually weighs between 50-70 lbs per trip so this adds extra stress on the luggage. I have gone through several soft sided luggage in a year. I have had TravelPro and Sharper Image as well as numerous "cheap" luggage. None weathered the airports very well.

I don't like 4 wheeled spinner luggage because the airport usually breaks one of the wheels off after a few trips. The spinner wheels are very exposed to airport abuse. All my spinners have a broken wheel.

Baggage handlers also like to lift the luggage when the handle is extended...50% of my luggage ends up with a broken telescopic handle after a couple of months of travel.

After 6 months of usage, I think I finally found my ideal luggage in this Samsonite F'Lite GT. It looks like it was designed by structural engineers and not fashion designers. It is not damaged so far.

The telescopic handle is designed to lift a heavily loaded suitcase. Very sturdy design

The wheels are large (goes over rental car lot rocks and gravel easily), heavily braced and designed for rough, abusive use.

The polypropylene like outer case is very hard to scuff (try scuffing it with a 2x4) yet the airlines have scuffed it up pretty good in a few months. I think they are using my luggage as jet wheel stops. However the luggage still seals perfectly and the seams are water resistant. I would have faith in pitching my suitcase in a pool and expect to still have dry clothes if I scooped it out in a few minutes.

My suitcase has the TSA lock and they work well. (I get the love notes inside my locked luggage from TSA saying they have been through clothes and possessions.)

The inside has only one divider for your suits and it works great. I do not have to fold my suit in half to fit in the half shell.

There is no liner which i prefer because it leaves more room for clothes and stuff. I travel with a plastic bodied Water Pik so I wrap it in an old T-shirt to prevent it from banging around inside the suitcase. I also traveled with a travel guitar and banjo in padded gig bags with no problems.

This is a plain, very bare bones suitcase but the airlines will ruin any piece of luggage. This luggage still looks good after being beaten up. The basic black still looks basic black.

Besides the scuffing, the worst damage so far as been the airlines rubbing off the stickers provided to put your initials on the luggage. Overall I really like my Samsonite F'Lite. Kudos to Samsonite for allowing the engineers having the last say in making this luggage.

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