Musings: One Trick Pony
According to Alton Brown, “You shouldn’t own a kitchen gadget unless it has more than one use.”
I like Alton Brown; he’s my go-to guy when trying out a classic recipe or a new cooking technique for the first time. Need to understand why to brine chicken, and the perfect brining technique? Alton knows best, and explains it in a way that makes sense…he’s very logical, in a retro-nerd kind of way.
So, back to that kitchen gadget thing. Seems like I keep hearing about the FoodSaver. My brother-in-law and his wife foodsave everything they can, including half a tray of lasagna (yes, I did just make a verb out of the FoodSaver). And even Mia, my five year old, has said, “Mom, that looks like something YOU should have,” after seeing an ad on Nickelodeon. Nickelodeon, of all places! I thought it was pretty silly, the FoodSaver ad team buying time on a kids’ network, but here I am on a Food Blog typing away about the product. How’s that for good advertising and targeting your demographic?!
So, is this one trick pony worth it? I Googled “Alton Brown FoodSaver” and came up with not one, but SEVERAL links to websites where folks have touted Alton as mentioning everything from poaching and sous-vide to (get this!) BRINING! in FoodSaver-type bags.
But I’m still not sold. It’s expensive, and even though you’re supposed to be able to reuse the bags, I really doubt that happens much because it sounds like a royal pain in the rear. The thought of washing a bag that held a block of sticky cheese makes me want to poke my eyes out. And the accessories! All the accessories you’d have to buy! Seriously.
Plus, where are you supposed to keep the thing in an average sized kitchen? If it’s not accessible, it’s never going to be used; however, I’m not keen on keeping a big appliance like that on my counter.
What do you think? Is it worth the money and hype?
I’m not convinced either. Although – I have thought it would make freezing veggies even better. I spend a while getting the air out of each bag so they will lay flat and to avoid freezer burn. Isn’t that what they advertise this thing for? LOL
Yeah – I think freezing is one of the main uses. Again…one trick pony. BUT, for large scale stuff like you’re doing (saving for winter) maybe it makes sense?
Layla, Michael & Cole
I love Alton! Anyway, not sold on the food saver either. It would never get used in this house.
Leave it to Alton to make several uses for an item that’s really meant to only vacuum seal!
Alton is the best, the food saver is not. Alton’s the best, because he explains why his techniques work, so you can use on other recipes and techniques… (His advice on one item is more than a one trick pony statement). The food saver is not, cause my friends who bought them… now have them collecting dust with their George Foreman grills. I use to have an industrial vacuum sealer when I was a meat cutter, and used it for freezer wrapping, brining, marinating, cooler packing for camping (water proof), but as great as it was, other methods for all those activities work just as well. Except for freezer wrapping, you can’t beat a food saver as saving food for long freeze durations. The only way I’d ever purchase is if I decided to start breaking down beef rounds or back straps for cost cutting on protein purchase. Otherwise my plastic wrap works fine for a few weeks. Favorite Pony-, kitchen scraper… chop or cut out those cinnamon rolls, scrap that cutting block, move those chopped shallots, clean off counter, transport cut herbs, press that garlic…
YES! The kitchen scraper is awesome! Love mine. 🙂 And, you echo my sentiments re: Alton (multi trick pony) & FoodSaver (one trick pony).