I admit it.
I love being a part of Amazon Vine.
If you are not familiar with it, I will tell you a bit about how it works. You don't 'join'. You are sent an e-mail and asked if you want to be a part of it. Why? Is it based on the number of reviews you posted on Amazon or the number of reviews that got a good rating...who knows. Amazon is not saying.
Then every month, on the third Thursday, at 3p.m. eastern time you get your 'targeted' newsletter, from which you can pick two items. You will get them for free, in return for a review on Amazon. Oddly, my targeted newsletter thinks I have a baby, lots of baby stuff, but still...
So, last month I tried to sign on and the page got locked up. It happens. By the time I got in, the item I wanted, a handheld scanner, was gone. It happens. Very, very quickly.
So what was left?
Well, how about a Big Boss Oil-less Fryer ?
From the product description..."Using halogen, convection, and infrared heat sources, the Big Boss fryer eliminates the need for oil while preparing low-calorie versions of deep-fried treats, such as french fries, onion rings, and chicken wings. The triple-headed cooking process ensures interiors are juicy and moist while browning exteriors until they're as golden and crunchy as a crown covered in rice krispies. The included recipe book and cooking guide clue users into the nonfrying countertop fryer's many uses, and optional tools, such as grill racks and a mesh basket, allow for experimentations with new cooking techniques and meals."
"a crown covered in rice krispies..." Who write this stuff?
Well, I experimented a bit, just for you, my dear readers.
I cooked a chicken.
I cooked some frozen french fries.
How did they go?
Well, they went well, thank you.
For the chicken, I took a whole chicken, rubbed it inside and outside with a couple of teaspoons of the pictured rub, put it in the device and turned it on.
OK, first of all, it is bright. Like a spaceship hovering in the sky bright. Or so those UFO shows on TV say.
And, per the instructions, you have to turn the chicken over halfway through. In reviews, some people had a problem with that. I just grabbed it with a pair of tongs...flip. And in 45 minutes, I had one very nice chicken. Very crispy skin, very juicy meat.
Then, at the other end of the cooking spectrum, last night I made frozen french fries in it. Put them on the mesh rack, gave them a tiny spritz of oil (just for fun) with the enclosed sprayer, and in 15 minutes, hot and crispy fries. Cool. OK, actually very hot. ;-)
They say you can make fries, real fries like from a potato, but I didn't have one so I didn't try that.
So, should you buy one?
Well, there are some cons. It is big. Happily I found a place for it in my pantry. But it is big and awkward and unless you have a BIG kitchen, not something you would leave on the counter. To have to drag it out every time you use it is not the best situation.
It claims to be quicker than a regular oven, which I think is rather doubtful. And with things like fries, you can only put them in one layer, which limits it's capacity, indeed. One, two people for those fries, yes..a whole family, not so much.
I found it easy to clean. Put the rack in the dishwasher and washed the bowl by hand. It generates a lot less heat then putting on the oven, something I appreciate this time of year.
They claim you can dehydrate in it.
They claim you can bake in it.
Reviews say it makes great burgers.
Well, we may see, in the future.
This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.