PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — You’ve probably seen the infomercial for a special pan that makes those little restaurant-style mini-burgers called “sliders.”
It’s called the Big City Slider Station and sells for $20, plus shipping and handling.
It promises you can make five mini-burgers in minutes with no mess, but does it really do that… and do you really need this?
Dianna Hollo has seen the Big City Slider Station infomercial but it’s her three children who are really sold.
And it’s no wonder – the burgers look cute and easy to make.
“It makes sense, especially in the winter,” said Hollo. “I don’t grill in the winter and I don’t cook hamburgers inside. Just because it’s nasty frying them up in a pan. So it might be a good idea to put them in something like this if it does what it says it does.”
To find out if the product really does what it promises, we buy ground round and ground chuck for our mini-burgers.
The Big City Slider Station comes with a frying pan and lid.
The directions say wash in hot soapy water before using and dry thoroughly.
The Big City Slider Station even comes with its own scoop so your mini-burgers will be just the right size.
“It’s a little nice you don’t have to use your hands on the raw meat,” said Hollo.
It takes some practice to scoop the ground round into the Big City Slider pan. The first time we level them off, though, we later realize that directions show heaping scoops.
According to the directions, press the burgers down with the pan lid and cook the burgers on medium heat, claiming that most burgers are done in two to four minutes. But even with the smaller scoops, our mini burgers aren’t anywhere near done in two minutes.
After four minutes, they are just about ready.
Now remember, these are mini-burgers. If you put them on a regular hamburger bun, they’ll be lost.
But little dinner rolls are the perfect size.
So far so good, but there’s one promise the infomercial makes that Hollo says just isn’t true — clean up is easy.
Although she has no problem cleaning the bottom of the Big City Slider Station, the top is a different story.
“You have to be meticulous between all the grooves,” says Hollo. “The top is much harder to clean.”
We try again with the ground chuck using a heaping scoop of meat for each burger.
Our burgers look better but this time our burgers aren’t done in four minutes. They take between six and seven minutes.
Even so, Hollo says she thinks they are great for the kids.
“They are perfect kid size,” she says. “They are not too big and not too small.”
But again the lid is difficult to clean.
You are not supposed to use any scouring pads or abrasive cleaners. And even if you soak it first, cleaning up is time consuming.
But there’s no doubt it’s cleaner than frying up your own mini-burgers.
So in the end, does it really do that?
“Yeah, I think so,” says Hollo. “I’m a little frustrated with the cleaning of the top. Until the cleaning, it was thumbs up because it is relatively mess free. It’s quick. It cooked them throughout, they were moist. The kids loved them.”
In the end, the Big City Slider Station does really do that.
It just isn’t quite as easy to clean up as it promised.