Kitchen Gift Ideas, 5 New Gadgets That Do and Don't Work
As Seen On TV Kitchen Gadgets
Just about everyone has watched an infomercial that advertises some amazing gizmo that convinces us to pick up the phone or boot-up to buy it. But, when the package arrives, the goodie inside rarely lives up to all of the hype. This gift giving season, I thought I would take a closer look and hopefully save a few bucks before buying gifts consisting of such must-have gear. I was willing to spend a few dollars to buy one item each before purchasing a few of each as gifts. No one wants to give a gift that is sure to flop; and this includes me.
What You Think Really Does Matter!
What have you experienced with "as seen on TV" products?
The Advertising Hook
The Marketing Hook Gets us Every Time
The reviews below are designed to share honestly and exactly how each of these kitchen gadgets worked compared to the commercial hype they profess. The marketing strategy used generally pulls us in with a "HOOK" and that's when money spent, is money burned! For me, only one of the five reviewed products deserved a 5 star rating. As for the other four kitchen gadgets, they seemed to fall short of the hook—line and sinker—the ads had promised.
5 New Kitchen Gadgets
The Truth About These Kitchen Gift Ideas
I will be using a simple 1 through 5 star rating system, 1 being bad and 5 being pretty great.
- TastiWave Oven (rates 1 star)
- RoboStir (rates 2 stars)
- Wine Yoke Lanyard (rates 3 stars )
- Slice-o-Matic (rates 4 stars )
- One Touch Jar Opener (rates 5 stars), and here is why...
TastiWave Oven - Rated At 1 Star
The TastiWave Oven Hook
"Change the way you cook forever." "Absorbs microwave energy converting it to cooking energy, leaving you with homemade meals right from your microwave that taste incredible."
The TastiWave Oven Reality
To simply steam a few veggies—once you figure out how all the parts work together—it takes several different pieces of the device. It just seems way too process-oriented for a few vegetables; I don't even want to think about what it takes to make a meal. What they fail to inform the consumer during the commercial is that you have to have a large microwave that is capable of no less, and no more, than an 1100 Watt output, and a turntable. Would be nice to let people know this before they try to shove this contraption into their moderate size, non spinning, 800 Watt ovens.
TastiWave Oven Features
This gadget claims to have a super-hard ceramic coating on the outside that is designed to protect the Dutch oven-looking product from the actual micro-waves once you switch on the power. The idea is to capture them inside the inclosed bottom of the TastiWave where a space-age material—cryotech™ —is found. This cryotech™ converts the micro-waves to 500°F energy, thus cooking your food crazy fast, and crazy good. But, they fail to mention that you must discontinue use if it ever gets scratched or chipped...remember that super-hard ceramic coating? Yeah, it's put over a metal material. And as we all know, metal is NOT compatible with micro waves at all.
I didn't experience this, but consumers (according to The Reader's Digest's review of the product) have complained that on occasion, the inside of the microwave will begin to spark and sputter during use, which can send people running for safety. Sounds like that rock-hard ceramic coating may be a little too thin in a few spots. Metal in the microwave, I am told, has never been a good idea, so what makes this company think otherwise? What if it gets chipped or dropped? I have had my microwave spark and sputter for other reasons (usually brought on my own doing) and it is indeed a very freaky experience. I think for my purposes, I will stick with my good old microwave, as far as I am concerned it gets the job done well enough. As for the other cooking styles, my oven and stove top are just all right by me. Giving this one a space-age less-than 1 star rating.
I won't waist your time with a video of how this thing does or doesn't work. In my opinion, you will be better off buying a new microwave than this product.
The RoboStir - Rated At 2 Stars
The Robostir Hook
"Automatically stirs stews, soup, gravy and more" by using "physics to magically move silicone feet around a pan so nothing will stick or burn."
The Robostir Reality
Even though this kitchen gadget is really cute, with its four little robotic moving legs and all, it isn't a very practical gift choice. To start with, it doesn't really give you that much help during cooking. It kind of stumbles around for a little while then hangs out in one location doing little to get things mixed up or blended effectively. But I have a real concern when it comes to the safety of the product. It seems that the manufacturers caution the consumer to be careful with the battery pack, as it can potentially blow-up if placed in hot liquid. Really? They also tell us that we should not leave the device alone during use.
Isn't the idea of a kitchen tool that automatically stirs for us, to do so, thus freeing us to do other things? So, for me, between the possibility of an explosion in my kitchen, and having to babysit this thing during use, what's the point? This one barely gets a 2 star rating from me. (And yet, it still sells like hotcakes.)
The RoboStir Results Are In
The Wine Yoke Lanyard - Rated At 3 Stars
The Wine Yoke Lanyard Hook
"Never fumble with your wine glass again." The "hands-free experience" has a rubber harness to support your wine glass, while it hangs from a strap around your neck.
The Wine Yoke Lanyard Reality
This gizmo totally perplexed me at first. Yet, after thinking about it, and if I had to manage a two-handed project, and required a steady buzz during the project, I might employ this gadget—but only when no one else was around to witness it. This product is for the really committed wine drinker, possibly even those who are too committed, I say this as a dedicated wine drinker who resides in Napa. It really feels like the lanyard sways too much when you move around or reach for a snack or shake hands and any other activity it is said to enhance while caring for your glass of wine. I suppose if it had gyro positioning capabilities and a waist strap that held it snug to the body I would have greater confidence in it. But as is, I was always worried it would slosh wine all over the place if I made one wrong move; which I can manage on my own without spending $6 for a halter-style cup holder. It does have a fun and playful feel that is sure to humor the jester in the family, so for this reason alone (and because wine is involved) the Wine Yoke gets a 3 star rating from me.
Wine Yoke Lanyard Funtionality
Slice-o-Matic - Rated At 4 Stars
The Slice-o-Matic Hook
"This is a lean, mean, slicing machine" that "cuts your prep time in half." Claiming the "easy glide handle" makes prep work a joy, efficient, and hand cramp-free.
The Slic-o-Matic Reality
The cuts are completed in an amazingly professional and uniform manner. But, the handle does seem to constantly get stuck, or hung-up somehow. So, it really doesn't work as easily or quickly as it is shown to on TV. And certainly not "as easy to use as a toaster." The feel of this device is kind of cheap, like a toy clearance bin item. If you have any knife skills at all, you can probably get done faster doing your prep the old fashioned way. But, one thing that will be difficult to beat is just how spectacular the cuts really are. The beautifully even, crisp cuts are a very nice offering. So, what it boils down to is, if you are short on time, do it by hand; if you want to blow your friends away with an absolutely perfect display, use the Slice-o-Matic. For the shear beauty of the slices presented by this device, it garners a 4 star rating.
Slice-o-Matic Consumer Tested On The Street - Mixed Reviews
See Why I Give "The One Touch Jar Opener" 5 Stars!
One Touch Jar Opener - Rated At 5 Stars
The One Touch Jar Opener Hook
"Just place the opener on the jar, and press the button. That's it. The opener loosens the lid."
The One Touch Jar Opener Reality
It can seem a little slow and mechanical, but it does actually work. This is one of those rare creatures that does just what the "hook" claims it will. Great for older folks or those who struggle with hand strength, with arthritic hands appreciating this gadget most of all. It will probably take a little thought to figure out the process, but all-in-all this is one "as seen on TV" product that lives up to the hype. Works on a variety of lid sizes, and functions properly every time. Not too complicated, works great, priced pretty well, and lives up to the marketing hype; from my perspective, this is worthy of a pretty strong 5 star rating.
See For Yourself! The One Touch Jar Opener In Action.
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Wrapping Up These Kitchen Gadget Reviews
To Buy, Or Not To Buy
As far as "as seen on TV" gadgets go, I thought one out of five getting a worthy rating wasn't so bad. I mean really, to discover a great device for opening lids that just about anyone can operate, while getting good results seemed like a fair trade compared to the other four gadgets— which mostly failed their review tests. I am certainly going to be buying a few more One Touch Jar Openers for family and friends. As for the other goodies, I think I will wait to see what the up and coming year's infomercials have to offer.
Okay, you know I am totally getting a Wine Yoke for my best friend, she will love the quirky nature of this thing!