Monday, January 11, 2010

That oven from the Mr. T infomercial? It really works

This is Games N Gadgets week at the Charlotte Observer. Throughout the week, Monday-Sunday, we're going to look at some popular and not-so popular Games N Gadgets. If you have any ideas for things you'd like to see us review, please email lwertz@charlotteobserver.com

First up is the Flavorwave Turbo Oven. You've probably seen the ads on TV, like below, with actor Mr. T (a.k.a B.A. Baracus from the hit '80s show "The A Team").

The infomercial is intentionally silly, but the oven, which goes for $138, really does work. It uses halogen heat, infrared waves and convection style cooking to cook food really fast and thoroughly. My kids say the stuff I'm cooking tastes as good as Applebee's, and coming from my kids, that's a huge compliment.

Better, I can see fat drippings collect at the bottom of the large glass bowl you cook in.

I'm usually skeptical of most things infomercial, but when I opened the box and felt the heft of this thing I was impressed. I put in some frozen chicken breast and it cooked them in about 18 minutes, no defrosting necessary. The breasts came out tender, if unseasoned. I tried some more with some seasoning on the frozen breasts and a little soy sauce and water at the bottom of the bowl (the food sits on a raised platform).

Bingo.

I'm not much a cook (something Mrs. Wertz will attest to) but I find myself constantly using this thing. Man, food comes out perfectly almost every time. Frozen fries from Harris Teeter come out crunchy. Add some breadcumbs and some egg beaters and you get (somewhat) guiltless fried chicken.

You can reheat take-out pizza and not get the soggy microwave crust. Steaks are amazing.

My only complaint was all the add-ons that you want -- to allow you to grill, sear and cook bigger items like turkeys -- cost extra, about $12 each.

Well, I actually had two complaints.

In the ad, they show the ability to cook veggies with your food. And you can, but the drippings from whatever is on the highest tray always get on the food underneath. I think the folks at Thane would do well to make a bigger turbo or give you a deal for getting two (the, you guessed it, Twin Turbo).

As far as infomercials go, this one is a winner. I even used it outside a few weeks back instead of the BBQ grill. It cleans up easier and if you season the food well, it tastes just as good.

Count me convinced, and like Mr. T might say, I pity the fool who disagrees.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have the Black & Decker version, the Infrawave oven. Theirs is set up more like a traditional toaster oven, and I haven't yet tried to do more than just regular toaster applications, but I will now. What I found most interesting is that only the food gets hot. The grates that the food sits on stay relatively cool.

Anonymous said...

I've been wondering about The Egg, and I think there is some sort of new-fangled version of it. The infomercial for The Egg (a mini-blender) was pretty convicing, and Costco sells it.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing that it took Mr. T to sell it. The Mercola Turbo oven came out a couple of years ago. I guess blondes can't sell like Mr. T. Plus the Mercola is about $40 less.

Anonymous said...

I pity the fool that has to wait to buy one from Mr. T. Lagnston, did it ever occur to you to check them out at any of the local big box stores?

Anonymous said...

Got ours at the As Seen on TV Store at Concord Mills. Love it!!
Always check with them first ... they carry all this stuff and the owners are two local guys. They've always seemed to be pretty honest about a product when I ask.

Mark said...

What??? And now Mr. T is making infomercials? Oh my God, I remember the good days when he used to fight against Rambo and be a rough guy with the A-Team! Good old days!

Order Viagra said...

Yes Mark, I've seen Mr. T sad process of decadence! Now, he is being paid to sell ovens and super forks on TV for old women. Sad story, really sad...

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