So my son wanted to spend his earnings on a potato chip maker from Vat19, he loves Vat19 and previously bought a slushy maker and was very impressed with it. Oliver loves potato chips and this was a way to somewhat get healthier versions that could be made at home in 4-5 minutes from a fresh potato without having to turn on the oven or use a dehydrator.
The Healthy Potato Chip maker is a simple premise, it has a mandolin slicer to slice out thin potato slices which you place on a circular rack and then microwave the slices until they turn into crunchy chips. They say 4 minutes in the instructions but for me some of the chips were hard and some were still a little chewy after 4 minutes so you may have to play with the time a little bit to find the amount of time that gives you that crunchy chip. Just remember to let them set for about 3 minutes after the microwave turns off so they can coast cook and cool down before you start eating them.
The first thing I will let you know is everything that comes with the kit, this is a clear plastic bowl with a red lid that has a mandolin style slicer. A white potato slice holding tray and a plastic holder which is supposed to grab one end of the potato so you don’t risk your fingers. I will tell you that the lid gets knocked off of the container too easily, the mandolin slicer isn’t stable and the plastic piece to hold the potato is not stable for large russet potatoes. I think this product is way to risky for a kid under 13 to use and I would be the only one slicing the potato for my son Oliver. I will say that while slicing a thick russet potato on the slicer it takes some force to slice it straight through and because the plastic lid is very light weight and the bowl is also light weight, there doesn’t appear to be enough of a sturdy structure to properly slice a heavy potato easily.
This means I wound up having to make sure I held the lid tightly while slicing quickly and I was always worried the lid would come off of the container bowl even though it fits and slots in place, it isn’t very sturdy. It should have had some sort of clamp mechanism to hold it firmly in place in my opinion. I personally think all mandolin slicers are risky though, so just know what you are getting with the slicer. It does work and you get thin potato slices as you can see in the below picture.
Now after filling the entire chip holder with potato slices you place it on a paper plate or napkin and microwave it for 4 minutes to start according to the instruction and let it sit for 3 minutes to cool down after. I found I had to microwave it a little longer and you do have to play with times to make sure it cooks the potato slices into chips. Even Vat19 says you may have to adjust the times because microwaves don’t always all cook at the same wattage.
Before you microwave the chips you can add your flavoring, while the chips are wet from being freshly sliced you can add a little salt, black pepper, paprika or any seasonings or spices that you like. They will stick to the wet potato chip and it is easier and better to add them before you microwave them into chips than after when they become dry and the spices would just fall off.
Sometimes you just need a new set of kitchen knives and I have bought and reviewed ceramic knives before but was ultimately disappointed that they did lose sharpness rather quickly and in fact the tips were able to break off easier than steel knives at least in my case and my previous set. So Aicok reached out to me and told me to give their kitchen knives a review and particularly what made the set unique was the granite block magnetic holder that way after your knife was dry you could just set it and let it be held magnetically to the stand.
The box is fairly heavy and most of the weight is the heavy stone block that the knives magnetically attach to. Aicok includes plastic tips that you can place on each knife which is a great touch and I say is highly recommended that you use them when you are done and the knife is washed and dried.
You get a variety of knives for just about any purpose in your kitchen, though it doesn’t include a thin filleting knife for fish.
The bread knife I found worked particularly well for baguettes and other hard breads.
The block itself is heavy and has a stand, it does take up a large amount of counter space and you cannot mount this block to a wall. Something to note is that when you hang the knives magnetically onto the magnetic block stand you need to make sure the handles are above and slightly resting on the block top. These knives are not seated very well magnetically and I found they were too easy to knock off accidentally by bumping the counter or bumping the block with something. This would very easily cause scoring or damage to the countertop from the sharp knife tips if you don’t use the knife tip covers that are included, so I would say make them mandatory. Overall I would have preferred the used a stronger magnetism and made the resting sturdier for the knives and have the ability for them to be more vertical so you can wall mount the block, or simply not have it consume so much countertop space as it does have to rest at an angle and the stand behind it takes up quite a bit of countertop space. The fact you don’t have the block where you slide knives in and when wet can cause bacteria build up in the wood is good, but it comes with a risk of countertop damage and possibly risk to children in the home if you don’t put tips on the knives you have kids prone to climb on counters.
So with that I would say, it is nice in appearance, the knives themselves work great but the magnetic stand and block was a bit of a let down. Still if you need a good set of knives the Aicok knive set works well and these knives are made with 420 German stainless steel.
I am no stranger to Amazon as not only I am an affiliate but I buy dozens of products from Amazon per month and I can tell you one of the most false and misleading things about the Amazon marketplace is the way 3rd party brands give the appearance that things are on sale or you are getting a huge discount on items from them when in fact they are offering the product for the same price as everyone else, they are just fixing the “list” price so that it would appear they are giving a huge discount or sale.
A prime example would be if you did a search for the Play Station VR Starter Bundle (or launch bundle) and you can see one product lists it as “Save $1,380” because it is only $619.99 but had a list of $1,999.99 and the other is simply $608 without listing any sale or discount.
Articles like the one from the LA Times recently are shedding light how consumers are being duped by the allure of “discount” or sale, when in fact they are paying normal retail premiums. Now Amazon from what I know doesn’t specifically set the List Price for products, this is something the individual store can set and Amazon will compare the list price with other list prices for the same product and remove the list price if it finds the list price isn’t a fair match or appears to be defaulted. But when a store is clever like changing the “Launch Bundle” to “Starter Bundle” which is not the proper and official term for the PSVR Launch Bundle they likely didn’t find another “list price” because no other store sells it by that name, so therefore the list price gets set and shown indicating a discount that really does not exist.
This is more stores that game Amazon’s system than a direct Amazon fault in my opinion, but Amazon should have been more aware of it and kill it as soon as possible. It should have AI or algorithms that can spot keyword changes and such when a product is in fact the same thing by scanning more details in the product information to appropriate a listing match. But this is far more rampant than you would believe, just do a search for any product term like “Bluetooth” for example.
Are we really to believe that so many stores are having sales and discounts on products greater than 35% off all the time? No this is simply setting a list price high and then putting the actual price so that the buyer perceives that they are getting a discount and saving a lot of money on a product that would normally retail for 35% or more than the current price they are seeing. It is misleading, it is like putting a $10 item in a store that you know you are selling for $10, then putting a big sign on it listing it for $99.99 and crossing off the $99.99 and then putting $10.00 in red to catch someone’s eye. You never were going to list it for $99.99 and if a store front did this and was caught there likely would be penalties for doing such a thing.
List prices for Amazon products however are on their way out and will be phased out of existence very soon, between the consumer lawsuits, investigations and marketing strategy shift of Amazon I look forward to where list price is non-existent and you can simply shop on product alone and compare the different sellers + shipping costs for a final total cost of purchase. Here are some other sources for more information related to the Amazon List price.