PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – There’s a good chance the commercial for the Pop Chef might have caught your eye. It’s a little hand-held device that is supposed to allow you to simply press, pop, and eat fantastic looking treats in seconds.
The marketing compares the quality of what you can make to expensive fruit basket gifts you can buy.
KDKA-TV Morning Anchor and “Does It Really Do That Reporter?” Jennifer Antkowiak tested Pop Chef with the help of Deborah Denovich and her daughter, Jana, and Emily Fitzpatrick and her girls. Aida and Roselyn.
Deb loves to cook and has an appreciation for fine kitchen tools. She saw the Pop Chef commercial online.
“Honestly, I thought it looked kind of cheesy, but it’s a cute idea, since I know shapes work well with my daughter, and we’re trying to get creative to get her to eat more,” she said.
The commercial shows a variety of ways to use the Pop Chef, so Jen and the testers were ready to try it on fruits, veggies, bread, and cheese.
The kit comes with the Pop Chef unit, six cutting shape attachments, a pack of wooden skewers, an instruction sheet, and a recipe guide. The girls thought the food looked good – especially the cupcakes.
The kids were eager to help, and it was lunchtime, so the team got right to it, starting with the watermelon.
The instructions point out that foods with that kind of texture work best with the Pop Chef. Deb and Jana chose the heart shape, and, as instructed, pressed it firmly into the watermelon slice, lifted up, and squeezed the rubber top to pop the shape out. After a few tries, it did come out, and looked nice.
Emily and Deb each tried something they saw in the commercial BY loading up the Pop Chef twice to get two shaped pieces at once. It worked well with the watermelon, but the cantaloupe was harder to work with.
The pieces stuck in the Pop Chef tube. Following the instructions, Emily used the end of a skewer to push the fruit out of the Pop Chef.
Using it with one slice worked better and Jana even got it to make a loud popping noise, just like on the commercial.
Our testers kept going, trying different shapes on kiwi, and pineapple.
The girls enjoyed eating what they popped out. Emily made pretty fruit skewers, stacking different shapes and colors of fruit created with the Pop Chef.
They also got creative, like they show on the commercial and in the recipe booklet, by replacing cut out shapes in some fruit slices with others.
Deb found that working with a smaller shape on the cucumber was fine, but it was hard to get a clean cut on the green pepper. They learned that the texture of food definitely made a difference in how well the Pop Chef worked.
Finally, they used the Pop Chef to cut flower shapes out of bread and cheese to make little sandwiches. They looked pretty and the girls loved them.
Deb saw that the shape looked even better when she assembled the sandwich before pressing the Pop Chef into it, instead of popping out each bread and cheese shape individually. Emily gives her daughter gluten-free products, and she liked that they could use gluten-free bread for their sandwiches, but get something that looked the same as the others.
Overall, the moms said they had fun using the Pop Chef.
They liked the way the treats looked, and they were happy with how much the girls ate for lunch during the test. Still, because of the time it took to slice and prepare the food for the Pop Chef, and because they weren’t thrilled with the idea of storing another kitchen gadget, neither mom gave the Pop Chef a strong thumbs up.
“I don’t think even for $10 it’s really worth it, ” Deb said, “I mean, it’s cute, but it’s a lot of effort I think. It’s not the snack in seconds.”
Pop Chef is available online and in many stores that carry As Seen On TV products.
The price varies from $10 to $22 depending on the configuration of the kit, and whether you need to pay for shipping.