In our attempt to get healthier we have chosen to review the various juicers available to buy. We purchased this Aicok juice extractor as we had found it to be a brilliant AFFORDABLE juicer for anyone looking to get into juicing for the first time. Everywhere we looked people were saying brilliant things about this juicer so we just HAD to see what the fuss was all about. It might just be the best juicer money can buy, so please enjoy our hands on Aicok juicer review!
(For the health nuts out there (like us), we have also conducted an in-depth review of air fryers, and we also did an in-depth review of the Duronic air fryer which you can read and watch here).
So, in this review we have our write up but we also have two videos for you to watch. One is an unboxing video, while the second video shows where we actually put it to use and make some juices!
More and more people are aware of the need to be healthier. More and more people are left feeling tired and lethargic all day long (even after a good sleep).
This ain’t right!
As a nation we are slowly getting more and more overweight, and something needs to be done about it.
Everyone knows that we need to consume more and more fruits and veggies, yet not many of us do.
Instead we’ve become used to eating less, and consuming more and more salt-laden processed food and junk food and less of the stuff that actually makes us feel full of energy.
As a side note, there are very genuine stories online that are helping prove the link between various health issues (and even Cancer) and junk processed food (and also meat).
So it makes sense to try and at least change our eating habits to some degree.
Fat sick and nearly dead
This was a short film I watched online a few weeks back about a guy called Joe Cross who had health issues that had crept up on him, and had enjoyed a high profile life along with some very unhealthy eating and drinking habits.
He turned his life around all through juicing and lost an incredible amount of weight, and got his life back.
I thoroughly recommend you take some time to watch the free film that’s almost 1 hour 40 minutes long.
When you juice regularly you are flooding your body with loads of vitamins and minerals. In literally days people are noticing clearer skin and more mental alertness just from juicing.
You couldn’t physically eat the large number of fruits and veggies in a single sitting to get all the goodness, but you can drink the juice in a few glasses and reap the benefits!
This means you are eating mountains and mountains of fruit and veggies but in a condensed drink. All the vitamins go straight into your body instead of having to be digested first, giving you an INSTANT SHOT of vitamins and minerals for the feel good effect (great for the “morning after” if you want to make a hangover juice!)
So let’s take a closer look at this particular juicer.
It lets you enjoy juicing without breaking the bank.
Aicok juicer pictures
What we did and didn’t like about this juicer
Cheap and healthy way to get loads and loads of nutrients straight into your body (you’ll hardly ever get a cold!)
It’s REALLY cheap to buy compared to most juicers on the market
It has 2 power modes. 1 is a lower speed and great for softer foods, while the 2nd is for harder foods but runs at higher speeds. This will help the motor life last longer than if it was just running at high-speed all the time.
THE NOT SO GOOD:
We didn’t know till after we had bought this juicer that you have to exercise care not to over use the juicer. They recommend you juice for no more than 1 minute then let it rest for 2 minutes before re-using the juicer. You can do this 3 times but must then let it rest for 15 minutes in order to protect the motor from burning out. In practice it’s not really an issue as you are usually done juicing a good jug full in under a minute.
While the veggie juice was enjoyable and easy to clean the parts after, the fruit version stained the plastic jug with the Oranges we used. See picture below. It will need a good soak with hot water and soap first, whereas other foods can be rinsed off.
Watch as we create 2 separate juices using the Aicok Juicer. Takes seconds to create!
There are now hundreds if not thousands of recipes you can create with your juicer.
There are Green tea juices, detox juices, hangover juices, vitamin punch juices, and yes if you can think of it, there will be one made for it.
let’s look at a few:
Juice recipes for energy:
Juice recipes for clear skin:
Juice recipes for weight loss:
So there you have it. A great entry level Juice extractor that looks 4 times as expensive as it really is. Treat it with care and clean it well after each use, and don’t over use it for more than a minute at a time and you’ll be using it for months and years to come!
So, as part of our testing methods, we decided to purchase and review the Duronic Af/1 B air fryer (“B” stands for Black, a “W” would stand for the White model). It consistently scores very very well in our group tests, and wherever we look online others are also saying the exact same. So we bought one, tested it and here you can see what we did with it.
We started out with the box being delivered by Amazon, and at this point decided to create an unboxing video which you can see below. The original footage was 11 minutes long, so we sped up some parts and got it down to around 3 minutes.
Duronic AF/1 Air Fryer Review – Unboxing This Air Fryer
A closer look at the Duronic air fryer
Once that was out of the way we then decided to switch it on and put it to use.
We elected for one of the easiest things to cook, and pulled some frozen chips out of the freezer to conduct the first taste trial!
In under 15 minutes we had some really delicious crispy chips that were very close in taste and feel to McDonald’s french fries (although we did add a fair bit of salt at the end to get closer to that McD’s taste… that in itself will make it less healthy I’m sure, but the end result was a big thumbs up from us, and two kids who happily volunteered to help with the tasting!
Want to see the video where we cooked the chips? You can watch it below (don’t worry it’s not 15 minutes long.)
Cooking chips with the Duronic AF/1 air fryer video
So, what’s it like?
Well, our model purchased was the Black one, and it received a big thumbs up for its design from my partner (who is very much “on the ball” when it comes to taste!), although they do also make a White version with Chrome handle which does look nice, so there are a couple of options really when you’re picking one that’ll fit in with your kitchen items.
It is a shame there weren’t more colour options like Red, Cream etc. though.
Size wize its roughly 30cm x 20cm x 30cm in size. Bigger than a kettle and similar in size to, yes a deep fat fryer, but without the fatty cooking. Our tested model now occupies it’s own corner in our kitchen and doesn’t look out of place.
Weight wize. Nothing too heavy about it in all honesty. I’d have to hazard a weight guess at something similar to a full kettle or an old deep fat fryer. Two hands and you’ll be absolutely fine.
There is a heat pad made from a kind of silicone rubber that you pop on the counter somewhere. This is to pop the drawer onto when you take it out the fryer to check, serve or shake. It can get quite hot so the pad helps protect your kitchen worktop.
The timer is a 30 minute timer and is an old fashioned timer that ticks down and dings when it reaches zero (and shuts off cooking, so at least you don’t burn your food if you’ve wandered into the lounge to watch Eastenders).
It’s not that bad. It could have been a fancy digital timer, but as this is classed as a budget air fryer you can’t expect all the bells and whistles. At least this air fryer performs brilliantly, so we can overlook some very minor “old fashioned” technologies. But really you don’t really even notice it when it’s cooking.
You can hear the air frying element whirring while it’s cooking. Again, without going on about things like this, it’s not really an issue when it cooks so well.
The cooking label on the front of the air fryer is DIFFERENT to what’s in the cook book. In the book it says to cook at 200 degrees C but on the label it says to cook at 180 degrees. We opted for 180 degrees in our test and it did the trick.
Cooking times need 3 minutes added on when it is first switched on. This is to allow the air fryer to reach the correct temperature before you pop the food in.
The air fryer came to us very well packaged. The main Amazon box had the Air fryer box inside it along with some screwed up cardboard. When you get the air fryer box out there is some sticky tape to remove. It comes off easily and with our box it hardly ripped the box at all, so it still looked good (just in case we ever re-sell the fryer).
Opening up the air fryer box there is a moulded cardboard “egg-shell design” piece that sits on top of the air fryer, and another at the bottom to stop it rattling about while the delivery men have their fun throwing it around their vans. Pop these off and the air fryer is then inside a polyethylene bag.
There is an air intake vent on the top, and an air “out” vent routed at the back of the air fryer.
Note:there are two small pieces of sticky tape holding the cooking drawer in it’s place. You’ll need to peel both of these off unlike me who spent 20 seconds trying to work out why the drawer wouldn’t come out.
The Duronic air fryer comes boxed with an instruction manual which is written in easy to understand English as well as a few other languages. The writing is not too small either. Pleasing to note these minor details in today’s modern age!
It also comes with a really nicely presented 77 page cook book for recipes. The book is shiny, glossy and pleasing to hold. It feels of value and not like a cheap throwaway leaflet.
There are a number of included recipes in the book ranging from spicy fries, chicken drumsticks, rosted vegetables, soups, chicken nuggets, roasted cod and a few dessert recipes included too. If you look online you’ll also find a whole host of free air fryer recipes available as well.
A 2 year warranty. For total peace of mind. Cook to your heart’s content.
Cooking with the air fryer.
Straightforward really. No degree in cookery skills needed if you want to cook a wide range of things. Just be aware that if you’ve just switched it on, you’ll want to add 3 minutes to the timer to allow the air fryer to get up to the right temperature.
No oil, or only a tiny bit of oil is needed. Specifically you can add as little as a teaspoon of oil to fresh potatoes to help them crisp up better. Frozen potatoes do not need oil.
Chicken drumsticks take just 20 to 25 minutes, potatoes 15 to 20 minutes etc.
Our second cooking test was to try a mixture of chicken dippers and chips, and cram as many in the basket as possible to see how it came out.
The dippers were cooked first for an extra 5 minutes then the chips were thrown in, so that it would all be cooked together at the end.
The dippers came out soft and very hot. Impressed. The chips, despite shaking halfway through were a little floppy in places and ok in others, but we had literally just squeezed in a large number of items, as we wanted to see how it would cope in full capacity.
So for best results cook smaller quantities. We cooked enough for two very large platefulls.
Extra time might have remedied this, or possibly by buying one of the universal cooking tray systems you can then separate each item out for better air flow and a better end result. They’re typically around the £20 mark so good value.
It can get quite hot
For the first 5 to 10 minutes you can place your hand on the side of the air fryer and be just fine, but as time progresses this does get hotter, to an “uncomfortable” hot towards the end. While it’s not going to cause any sort of damage, it make sense to have the air fryer placed away out of children’s curious hands. In the same instance it might not be ideally placed next to fresh flowers.
Do we recommend it?
Absolutely. We tested this air fryer and 9 others in our air fryer top 10 comparison page, and this was our top rated “budget” air fryer, and even now after many months it’s still our favourite.
What can you cook in the Duronic air fryer?
Just about anything!
Potatoes, fish, meat, vegetables. You can also bake cakes, samosas, spring rolls and to finish things off, even sort out a tasty dessert if you’ve still got room left at the end.
When done you can pop the drawer and wire metal mesh basket in the dish washer and relax. Job done. Food made, full tummies. Sorted.
Have you enjoyed our duronic af 1 air fryer review ? let us know in the comments below so we can improve our work, or feel full of happiness if this helped you 🙂
If you’re anything like me, a toast lover (:-)) then a toaster has to be “fairly decent”, so it pays to get the best 4 slice toaster you can within your budget. Although most toasters are fairly inexpensive these days.
Who else loves toast as much as me?
So, let’s talk toasters.
For me, toast is probably the most important meal of the day.
My favourite slice of toast has to:
Have a good amount of butter
Be cooked to perfection – “medium to well done” for me!
Now, before the healthy eating police get involved I know it’s not good to eat a lot of carbs, BUT toast in the morning has been part of my routine I’d say 90% of the last 45 years and I don’t feel my body has suffered in any dramatic way. Which butter works for you? Now if we are talking about which butter to spread it’s got to be Flora buttery or a Salted butter block (the stuff you find wrapped in foil – although we do reserve the salted stuff for very rare special treats maybe 3 times a year.)
So, let’s look at toaster stuff before we get too deeply involved with butter talk.. cough cough…
Why buy a 4 slice toaster?
Think about it, a 2 slicer isn’t that much smaller than a 4 slicer so you can rule out that as a reason. The ability to cook 4 slices at once just makes so much sense.
When you have guests stopping over or
More than one person wants toast
Or you just feel like going to town and eating half a loaf because you are starving hungry (ever done this??)
It HAS to look nice! Ideally it needs to be in Red / Blue / Silver / Cream / Black / White / Purple / Chrome etc etc etc. It’s got to be able to cook the whole slice, and not have 2 centimetres sticking out of the top! There’s nothing worse than the top bit of bread sticking out of the top of the toaster that’s not managed to be cooked because the slice doesn’t fit in the toaster properly. I mean, what’s the point in cooking 3 quarters of a slice to have to peel off the last quarter and shout your dog out of his bed to come “get it”. That’s going to put you in a grumpy mood for the rest of the day! It’s got to be able to defrost bread Ok so it’s not “essential” if it can’t defrost bread, as I have found you can cook frozen bread but the taste isn’t quite the same as fresh bread, in my opinion. Any other extra’s are just nice but not absolutely necessary, in my own humble opinion
Things such as a pull out crumb tray or high lift lifting mechanisms to help you grab smaller sliced bread without getting your fingers burnt are all nice little extra features.
So we looked at 27 toasters and were able to quickly rule out 15 that didn’t really perform well. We then filtered out the rest and two more left our review as they simply came with poor customer service. That left us with 10 that we have tested. All 10 of us took a toaster home. 10 toasters have all cooked a wide variety of toast for two weeks. That’s 560 slices of toast (some of this toast got shared by family and a couple of family dogs).
The simply beautiful Breville VTT702 4 slice toaster.
As you’d expect from a top rated toaster, this toaster will perform the usual reheat, defrost and mid-cycle cancel functions. It also has a “high lift” facility allowing you to lift out those smaller bread slices without burning your fingers. It’s available in a few colour options. It measures 30.9 x 27 x 19 cm What we like:
The style and functions are simply what we have come to expect from a modern day 4 slice toaster.
The matching kettle option means you can dress up your whole kitchen in a similar style and colour if you want to.
What we don’t like: Although it’s only minor, if you only want to cook two slices of toast you MUST use the right hand two slots “first”. I think this is a poor design idea as I don’t know if this could cause the right side to stop working before the whole thing. It would have been better if you could use either side so you’re not over using one side compared to the other. On the plus side, I really can’t say what the average life of a toaster is, and this might not even be an issue anyway. This is also one the of the best sellers on Amazon.
We really liked using the Dualit 46205 toaster (and the optional sandwich cage you can buy extra to make awesome toasties!)
Available in Black, Cream Gloss, Stoneware Basalt, Canvas White and Stoneware Granite Cook two slices one way, and the other two slices another way, all at the same time. Take a look at the features:
Peek and Pop function to check bread while toasting without interrupting the toasting cycle and giving greater browning control
Defrost and cancel button
Bagel toasting function
Extra-wide slots to accommodate different varieties of bread
Concealed, removable crumb tray
We think this toaster has all the features you could ever need. It’s one of the only toasters we have featured that does a brilliant job at cooking every part of the bread (unlike many other toasters!) With the peek and pop function you can lift the toast whenever you want while it is cooking to look at it.
De ‘Longhi, the company formed in 1902 who are renowned for quality, build the Vintage Icona Dolcevita range of toasters for the discerning buyer. This is the Pastel Cream and Mahogany design with a Chrome finish, making this one of the most stylish toasters we have ever seen.
It has everything you want from a toaster.
Extra wide slots for thicker or thinner bread.
Variable Browning control – have it toasted anywhere from light Brown, or dark “burnt”, if that’s your preference
Two independant Browning controls
Two separate crumb trays
Options for re-heat, Bagel cooking, Defrost and cancel
(Bagel cooking turns off certain elements so that you only toast the “cut” side of the Bagel) Like the look of this toaster?
What we did like about the toaster.
We love the fact that this toaster is quite a bit more “posher” than your typical toaster thanks to the Mahogany colouring on the buttons
What we didn’t like about this toaster
The crumb trays were a bit pointless, not exactly catching all the crumbs, but that could be said for many toasters in comparison.
The slots that you put your toast in measure 3.7 x 14.4 cm Overall size: 34 x 30 x 20.5 cm
This is a Purple coloured prism toaster (there are other colours available too). As with all good toasters it has all the features you’d expect from a toaster:
Two independant Browning controls
High lift mechanism
Illuminated control buttons – “Defrost”, “Cancel” and “Reheat”
Removable crumb trays
Variable width deep toaster compartments
What we like about this toaster
The colours and styling are just so striking they really do stand out and enhance any kitchen.
What we don’t like
Although our toaster we tested was faultless, we have researched and found that around 5% of other buyers had a poor experience with it. One fault mentioned a few times was that the toaster element would stop working on one side. Don’t let this discourage you, as there is a 2 year warranty, and be assured that most manufacturers expect a small percentage of their items to develop a problem over time. In addition, a few people have complained about the matching kettle lid to be poorly attached, if you were thinking of buying that. Again, if you buy this, just remember you have a 2 year peace of mind warranty. To get your 2 year warranty be sure to register your product on their website here. This gives you the two years warranty, otherwsie you only get a 1 year warranty.
The 4 slot Vario hand built toaster pays resdpect to the long standing Dualit name. This is the classic design that has carried through a lot of Dualit’s history in a very close form. In essence it is instantly noticeable as a Dualit. Tough and hard working. If you’d like to know more, you can click here to read about the Dualit story and how it all started in 1946.
Each Vario toaster is hand built. The person who built it puts their name on the bottom on a sticker, to ensure sheer premium quality shines with every toaster made. Sometimes simple is best. Every single part is repairable or replaceable. If you’re old enough to remember, this was how things were made in the 1950’s to 1980’s and then products became more of a throwaway item. This means every Dualit toaster is designed to last a lifetime.
Here are the main features (taken from Amazon itself)
Hand built in the UK since the 1950’s, the Classic Toaster has earned its place as a kitchen essential.
Featuring fully replaceable or repairable parts, timeless styling and the unique, patented Proheat element.
The Dualit Classic Toaster is environmentally responsible, fully repairable or replaceable parts for a toaster that will last a lifetime.
Exclusive to Dualit, ProHeat elements have a protective armour plated layer covering the filament making them virtually unbreakable.
Each toaster is hand-assembled from start to finish. Who made your toaster? Find the assembler’s name on the base plate.
Incorporates our trademark mechanical timer and ejector lever.
The manual ejector lever means your toast doesn’t pop up when done, it sit’s inside keeping warm for much longer, so you simply eject the toast when you are ready for it.
What we like about it
Incredible build quality, feels really strong and well built. Simple in features but very very good at what it does. Cooking perfect toast and defrosting frozen bread ready for toasting. These toasters are the kind that last for 10 to 20 years.
What we don’t like about it
We would have “preferred” a non-mechanical timer but that is just more of a personal taste thing.