Kitchen Gadgets: Help or Hoax?

Grace Cruikshank, Backpage Editor

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As I walk down the aisles of the grocery store I cannot help but notice strange yet clever products filling up the shelves lately. I have always been curious to see if these products are marketing tactics in hopes of making money off of healthy-eating millennials or if they actually work. I decided to buy a few and try them out.

 

OXO 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer:

Avocados are a big deal lately. They are the new super fruit.  But they are hard to prepare. So I decided to try the OXO 3-in-1 Avocado slicer to see if it would save me some time.  Amazon describes the tool as “splits, pits and slices avocados; stainless steel pitter removes pit with one quick twist; slicer lifts fruit from skin in seven perfect pieces; soft, comfortable non-slip grip”.   

At first I questioned whether investing in the “3-in-1” product was necessary since a knife could easily perform all three functions of cutting an avocado as well.

I started removing the fruit from the skin.  The top portion of the slicer is actually a knife but its shape is curved in such a way where it is uniquely designed to cut around the outside of the avocado. It worked quite well.  Then I tried to remove the pit with the middle portion of the tool. The directions indicate that you can remove the pit of the avocado simply by squeezing the sides. Removing the pit of an avocado with just a knife is not a simple task so I was hoping that this part of the tool would work.  It does work in some cases; however the pit remover is does not take the different sizes of avocados into consideration. It would not work well with large pitted avocados. The third and final piece of the avocado sliver is a series of multiple knives used to cut the interior of the avocado into slices. In my opinion, this product worked well except for the middle section.  

Generally, I found the avocado slicer to not be worth the investment. It was simply two different shaped knives on the same product that served different purposes.  A regular knife could have been used easily with the same result. And the pit remover did not work well. I would suggest that inventors consider developing a well-designed pit remover in the future.  

Rating:  7/10

 

Chef’n Garlic Zoom:

I love cooking with garlic, so I decided to try the Chef’n Garlic Zoom.  Amazon markets the Garlic Zoom as “this mighty gadget allows you to mince garlic to your desired texture without dirtying cutting boards or knives with sticky garlic juice. Simply load the Garlic Zoom chamber with garlic, roll the unit back and forth on a smooth surface, and let the interior blades take over.”  I was pleasantly surprised to find that this product does do the job quick and effective. I inserted the garlic and it quickly minced it. However, the garlic pieces were larger than I prefer when cooking. And although the product directions said, “rolling more will result in a fine mince while less rolling offers a courser chop”, I did not find this to be the case.

Generally, the Garlic Zoom worked well and I would say that the product is worth the purchase.  It was very simple to use and cut the time I would spend mincing the garlic with a knife. It was also easier to clean than a garlic presser.  I do wish this product had features to peel, and crush the garlic as well as mince it.

Rating:  9/10

LooseLeaf™:

Herbs are essential when adding flavor to dishes, but trimming and cutting leaves from the stem can be time consuming and difficult. So the LooseLeaf tool was interesting to me.  The product is a piece of plastic with holes in it. The product claims to “strip kale, collards, chard and herb leaves from stems in seconds with this beautifully simple kitchen tool.   The hand held design is easy to use, just insert the stem and pull through the hole.” I put this product to the test with some basil. The first attempt was unsuccessful because I tried to strip a bunch of basil opposed to one leaf.  The second attempt was more successful because I was using only one leaf. If you have the patience to use this tool leaf by leaf then maybe it is worth the investment. On the other hand, most humans have fingers and opposable thumbs able to actually remove greens from their stems just as easily by running them along the stems.  I would not recommend this product. And whoever thought of this idea, you are really not that clever.

Rating:  1/10

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