Saturday, July 14, 2012

Weekend Cooking...the Big Boss Oil-less Fryer

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.
But what it really excels at is crispy. It does crispy very well.

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.


  1. Hm, it sounds like you get better things in Vine than I do - I got oatmeal last month. This cooker might work well for me because my husband likes fried food and I don't. I don't like the grease and I don't like the way it makes me feel after I eat it, so I don't fry stuff. The only problem is the space it would take up. Hm. . .

    1. within 1 minute after 3 p.m. the best stuff is gone.
      Sometimes I remember and get something like this, sometimes I don't and get a book or shampoo. But it is all good!

  2. Wish they'd pick people for buying instead of reviewing, then maybe I'd get an email :) Cool contraption, except for taking up too much space.

  3. I didn't know about the Amazon Vine - cool! An oil-less fryer is a good concept, and I actually have tons of cabinets....hmmm...will put it under consideration!

    Great post!

  4. I love your description -- a spaceship light -- your UFO chicken looks delicious! :D

    Big would be a problem for me. They should design a collapsible fryer or something. It might be fun to cook wearing a spacesuit, though.

    1. I will say that to store you can flip the lid so the big part fits nicely in the bowl. it is still big, but smaller.

  5. Sounds interesting. I love my fryer. I wonder how fish would turn out in it.

  6. This fryer sounds great, I haven't gotten anything that interesting from Vine, although I did see a full size refrigerator there once.

  7. That's quite a machine!

    Have a great week.

  8. I would struggle to find space for this kind of thing! It is really amazing that they send something so expensive!

  9. Wow! I never heard of such a thing. Sounds like an interesting appliance.

  10. What a machine! It definitely sounds like it's too big for my kitchen.

  11. The chicken does look delicious. Thanks for sharing your results with the fryer!
    Rebecca @ The Key to the Gate

  12. The size could be a prob plus my commitment to not adding one more thing to this house. Too much crap to weed out as it is. I love your description and the chicken does look good though. Nope, I'm not weakening. Oil less frying could be a good thing. Hmmmmm . . .be strong, don't go there. Is that under kitchen appliances?

  13. I hear you on the size being a 'con.' I don't have room for any more countertop tools, and I have the bare minimum right now. I'm glad this works well at doing crispy - that's one of my favorite consistencies!

  14. I'm terribly jealous of you being in Amazon Vine. I covet that.

    And this sounds like a cool, cool device for cooking.

    Here's my first ever
    Weekend Cooking: Paris in July.
    Hope you will stop by!

  15. I have YET to score something awesome from Amazon Vine. But I did get a little device that waters your plants when you are gone and a new shaver. I just can't get to the good stuff quick enough! Glad this worked for you … but I could see it taking over my entire kitchen.

  16. Interesting. I'm not quite sure I'd use it but I like the idea of less or no oil.

    Sorry it took me so long to visit your post. I was out of town and didn't have Internet access.

  17. Saw this on tv awhile back and forgot about it.Yesterday I saw one on my Facebook page and I thought this would be great to help my family lose weigh.I would love to have one.

  18. Thanks for that review, I didn't know Amazon did that "Vine" thing but it's actually a good idea because I too seen this shared on Facebook and got interested, so a quick google search on how it works brought me to your blog, now since Amazon was so kind in helping you do this great review I will probably buy one through them! BTW I want your Mickey and Minnie mouse on the window sill :) lol

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  21. I have one and it's an amazing appliance. I just wish I could find more recipes for the appliance than what comes with it.


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