Snarky comments on obscure Chefs Catalog products

Snarky comments on obscure Chefs Catalog products

We love looking through each new Chef’s Catalog and enjoy imagining what new kitchen gimcrack we might buy next. But some of them are so outlandish, we had to tell you about them.

 butter shredder Butter mill – This allows you to shred cold butter onto toast “without tearing it.” For heavens sake, in over 30 years, we’ve never torn a piece of toast buttering. Buy better bread! Only $19.95, though.
 vitamix Vitamix Pro Blender. About $600. For heaven’s sake, get hold of yourselves. It’s a blender, not a stereo system!
 convection oven Waring Pro Convection Oven. $499. The catalog photo shows it hold two small chickens. It takes up 1.5 cubic feet of counter space, and at that price is well on the way to costing as much as an actual oven, many of which have convection features. We don’t see cluttering our counter with this clunker. But opinions may vary.
 spice stripper Herb zipper. From Fusion Brands. Strips the leaves off herbs. Only $7.95, but do you really have the kitchen drawer space for another silly gadget. Scissors work just as well, and you already have them!
 3peelers Set of 3 Swiss Peelers. $11.95. These work, but why do you need three of them. Do you color match your veggies with the right peeler? Green for cucumbers, yellow for carrots, red for (peppers?)? We have one of these and it works fine, but we do not need two more to stuff our kitchen drawers, and we prefer the Oxo swivel peeler anyway.
 mushroom slicer Norpro multipurpose slicer. We can see something like this for slicing hard boiled eggs, and we have the same one Mister Rogers had. But mushrooms? Don’t be silly. With our patented knife sharpener, thisOur little chef’s knife can mertilize those in seconds!
 kitchenaid mixer Kitchenaid Artisan Stand Mixer. About $350. This is a terrific product and a good price. But did you know it comes in 21 different colors? Really! Maybe we need one for each day of the week.

Anyway, we really want the Wonder Woman version, but it’s only available in Brazil!wonder woman

 egg poacher Egg poacher  $59.95 for 4 or $69.95 for 6.

You really need to learn how to do egg poaching in a pan. It’s much easier and you don’t have all those dirty dishes with bits of cooked on egg to try to get clean.

For a small number of eggs, just drop them into swirling water.

For a large number of eggs (we’ve done up to 22 in a few minutes) use a big spaghetti cooker pan with salt and vinegar and lift them out when they float to the surface.

 deep fryer TFAL EZ Clean Deep Fryer $129.95.  We’ll have to admit we are really tempted by this one. It filters and drains the oil into a container drawer when it’s cool. The claim is that it eliminates the mess of pouring and filtering oil. But how long does deep frying oil last before it deteriorates and gets skunky? Maybe 2 or 3 times? Then you have to pour it out, and clean the drawer and the filter.  But it looks like a really nice fryer, Santa, really it does!
 griddler Cuisinart Griddler $99.95. Waffle  plates another $39.95. We have this one and use it mostly for Panini sandwiches. It isn’t that great for all the other features.

But we wanted to snark about those pancakes. We can tell you from just looking at the picture that those pancakes are going to be really tough! We have a way better recipe than that!

 corn stripper Deluxe Corn stripper. $19.95. Come on people. You can do it with a knife in seconds, and if the corn is still hot, hold the end with a fork. How do you clean that sucker, and where would you store it the other 10 months of the year? Besides, we always thought that this was a corn stripper!corn costime

We apologize to Chefs Catalog for making fun of some of their catalog items, but we bet they smirk a little over things like the butter shredder and the corn stripper, too.  Happy Halloween!


2 thoughts on “Snarky comments on obscure Chefs Catalog products

  1. As a former chef, i cant agree more with you that these items are useless or needless. I feel that way about pretty much any single function kitchen item. This is however where i must disagree with one thing you said. The only tools i need are a single chef knife, a robotcoupe, and a vitaprep. Perhaps a peeler, but the knife works just as well. Pretty much any function can be obtained from some combination of those.

    The robotcoupe and the vitaprep cost about as much as a 15 year old car each. But they dont cost so much JUST for the fact they are a premium product. The machining tolerances, material quality, and engineering really are orders of magnitude better than most(if not all) other producers. In a professional setting the fact that i can run a vitaprep for 20min straight before it shuts off is great(and then another 20min after a 5min sit in the cooler). The fact that the base to container gears are so beefy and not made from soft metal means it will last more than one early removal and that you will never ever burn it out from ice or other very solid substances. It also works fine if you shake it while using it which is important. In situations where the vitaprep broke in my kitchen i have honestly broken 3 household blenders in one weekend before we could get a replacement.

    Now for the home user, unless they have a frozen cocktail fetish, its definitely not called for.

    Much of that goes as well for the robotcoupe except that it also enables you to do a lot of surprisingly weird things because of the torque and rpm involved.


  2. I forgot. That herb zipper… it has to be more time consuming to use than your fingers. I see how scissors would work but when you are standing in front of 10lbs of rosemary, there is no alternative more efficient that simply inverting the twig and pulling it thru you thumb and curled index finger(similar to how you shoot a marble). the leaves always separate with less force than it takes to snap the stem.


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