Essential Tools

This Tool Promises Perfect Watermelon Slices Every Time

July  1, 2016

If you'll be slicing piles and platters of watermelon—or pineapple, or canteloupe, or cake (?)—for a Fourth of July gathering, might I suggest the Perfect Slicer?

No! I might not. I will not.

After our rigorous, real-life testing of the 2-for-$14.99 (plus $7.99 shipping and handling, per slicer) of the product (watch it here!), I cannot do so in good conscience.

In the video, men and women glide the giant-sized apple corers through watermelons—and a whole lineup of other 10 hard-to-cut-fruits (fast-forward to 1:01)—as if living in a world where friction does not exist.

In reality, Amanda and I smashed, bruised, and altogether mutilated the fruits (and vegetables) as we tried to take them from whole to perfectly sliced.

This slice was not made with a Perfect Slicer. Photo by James Ransom

While we damaged a fair amount of fruit and covered the test kitchen in a sticky mess along the way, we did come away with some key learnings:

  1. Don't believe anything you see on an infomercial. (Should have known this one!) Just look at the way she's holding the knife at 0:05 as evidence.
  2. Raw cooking spray—which Facebook commenters suggested we apply to the blades of the slicer to help the tool slip through—has a very discernible taste (especially when applied to fresh fruit).
  3. Stools are useful cooking tools—not only for reaching high objects but also for getting leverage when you have to apply extreme amounts of force.
  4. If you have to apply extreme amounts of force, your tool—especially if it's marketed to make things easier—is not working.
  5. If you hear a cracking (as we did several times) sound, do not proceed (as we did).
  6. When something's being sold as a 2-for-1 product, there's a reason. (Thought experiment: Why would you need two of the same single-purpose items unless you plan to put them to use simultaneously?)
  7. Sometimes the old-fashioned way is the best way, and sometimes a sharp kitchen knife is the most useful tool. (Slicing a watermelon, a cake, a tomato? Not really so difficult anyway.)

Still curious about our findings? Watch the entire test here.

P.S. We did eat all of the sad fruit anyway!

Have you ever purchased a pretty terrible product from the internet or the TV? Are there any products out there you'd like us to test? Tell us in the comments!

2 Comments

marc510 July 22, 2016
"As Seen On TV" would be a fun category for Food52. <br /><br />My channel-surfing across over-the-air channels brings me in contact with many advertisements for miracle kitchen products. The category I'd most like Food52 to review is alternative non-stick coatings like Copper Chef and the various ceramic coatings. Are they good alternatives to Teflon and its relatives? Or do they fail quickly?
 
Premmy K. July 22, 2016
Hi i am interested in testing one of the cooking thermometers which is recently launched in the market