roasted chicken
Deep frying your Thanksgiving turkey is popular for a reason – it happens to be the same reason that Lipitor is popular, but that’s beside the point.  Unfortunately, every year, 10 million* Americans start house fires from attempting to fry their bird.  And in addition to the arson hazard, deep frying a turkey requires a ton of oil, which, let’s face it, you’re not going to filter and reuse.

Luckily, the folks at Char-Broil have created The Big Easy Oil-Less Infrared Turkey Deep Fryer, and were kind enough to loan me a unit for testing.  This cooker looks and works just like a conventional turkey fryer, except it uses no oil.  Instead, a ring of gas burners heat up the inside of the cooking chamber, roasting your meat evenly and allowing the fat to drip down, with no risk of flame-ups. 

Rather than test the machine with a turkey, though, I thought I’d try out a few other dishes.  Check out my video review after the jump.

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The nice folks at Polyscience were kind enough to loan me their new SousVide Professional heating immersion circulator. This is the first circulator that they have designed specifically for sous vide cooking, and it performs exquisitely. 

After a few weeks of intense use, I found the temperature accuracy to be precise (eggs are a great test!) and the stability to be very reliable.  The powerful circulating motor is a little noisy, as you can hear in the background of the video above, and I often wished it had a low-speed setting – instead, there is a valve you can adjust to regulate flow. 

The video below displays the results of a heating and temperature stability test I ran.  The machine is heating three gallons of water to 65.5C with no lid on the water bath.  The video is sped up by 20x so you aren’t bored to tears (and because a watched pot never boils becomes delightfully tepid).

 

Polyscience SousVide Professional – $799

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It doesn’t matter how old you are – there’s still a little kid inside you who just loves roasting marshmallows over a campfire.  However, if a campfire is a impractical for your next dinner party, try this simple trick: use your fondue set for tableside s’mores.  [Caution: locate your nearest fire extinguisher before attempting, and don’t serve alongside that bottle of 90 proof Brandy.]

To make your s’mores a bit classier, try using premium chocolate (sorry Hershey’s, it’s not me, it’s you).  I prefer Seattle-based Theo Chocolate’s Coconut Curry and Fig, Fennel & Almond, though there are hundreds of exotic flavors out there that will easily earn you your Open Flame Artisan Pastry Making merit badge.

If you love chocolate dipped foods, but aren’t quite ready to turn your fondue set inside out, Berries.com offers a variety of chocolate dipped fruits, cake pops and other sweets ready to ship right to your doorstep. And, for the real smores faithful, they even offer chocolate covered smores sandwiches!

http://www.berries.com/

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