Friday, January 4, 2013

MCK Product Review: Chef Basket

     As I was browsing the local Dollar Tree, as I am wont to do, I happened upon a rack just stuffed with "As Seen On TV" merchandise. Over two-thirds of it was dominated by a single item. That item was "The Original Chef Basket." Proudly proclaiming itself as a 12 in 1 kitchen tool, it cried out to be purchased. A local townie also stared longingly at the display. I looked at her and asked how we could have possibly lived this long without such a wonder in our kitchen. She nodded and lobbed one into her cart. She imparted these words of wisdom before wandering down the cleaning supply aisle: "Hell, for a buck, why wouldn't you buy it?" Naturally, I bought one. 

How has society advanced this far without one of these?
     The box proudly proclaims twelve different functions. That's probably bullshit, so let's focus on the stuff it shows on the front of the box. Steaming, rinse&strain and deep frying. You know what? I'm not dragging out the deep fryer for this test. That's too much work. Plus, my fryer already has a basket. The first test will be steaming. I chopped up some broccoli. What the Hell do you call a bunch of broccoli? Bunch? Group? Bouquet? Really, it's a head of broccoli? It doesn't look like a head at all. That's just stupid. Anyway, I chucked the broccoli in the Chef Basket and set up a pot of water.

Actual steaming in progress. 
      The verdict? It worked fine. No broccoli fell out, and the thing turned into a little basket just like it said. I just flipped it out into a bowl. No muss, no fuss. Next up was the rinse and strain. I took some potatoes and rinsed them off in the basket. Short of the basket self-destructing, it's pretty hard to screw up the "rinse" feature of this thing. I chose to cut up and par-boil the potatoes, which would require straining. I loaded the potatoes in the Chef Basket, which I had propped in the sink.

Try not to pass out from all this excitement. 
     The verdict? It worked fine. No potatoes fell through. That's about all that could have gone wrong. Finally, I cooked up a load of farfalle. I left the basket in the pot of water and poured in the farfalle. I was going to attempt to lift the basket out of the water and set it up for draining, just like on the cover.

I wonder if my good friend Rachel Ray has one of these?
     The verdict? Maybe farfalle wasn't the best pasta to use. The basket has some fairly large spaces for smaller pasta to sneak out. We lost about 15 pieces into the main pot. If you're using this for pasta, I'd stay away from stuff like elbow macaroni or orzo. I was impressed that the handles weren't red hot when I inevitably forgot to use mitts to lift the basket out. They did not really transfer much heat.

     I guess the question I need to answer is did I get my dollar's worth? Well, it does what it shows on the box. It even folds up flat. I suppose if you can find it for a buck, pick one up.

Good times!

No comments:

Post a Comment