There are some people out there that just can’t resist an infomercial. Whether they’re night owls, TV junkies, or just seeking more convenience in their life, they’re the ones that will never give up on those late-night airings and two-for-one specials, no matter how many products have let them down in the past.
While an infomercial is defined as "a television program that is an extended advertisement often including a discussion or demonstration," we’d probably describe it a little differently. Creeping onto TV screens late into the night, infomercials have the ability to catch us with our guard down. They’re usually hosted by some over-enthusiastic, too-tan host, and while they might be informative, they’re often hardly objective. Along with that, there’s also a key descriptor missing from the definition, and it’s "cheap." Because as great as the host says the featured product is, we often find ourselves asking: if this is so great and life-problem-solving, why is it being featured on an infomercial?
Regardless of our preconceptions, so many of us fall for the trap of an infomercial and give in to whatever Ron Popiel, George Foreman, or even Mr. T is trying to sell us. After dialing the 1-800 numbers and dishing out our credit card information, we’re as regretful about our purchases as we are about a late-night drunk-dialing scandal.
What have I done? Did I really need to do that? What are the consequences going to be?
If you’ve found yourself asking these questions, you’ve probably fallen victim to a few kitchen infomercials before, too. Even though your Slap Chop or Ginsu Knives proved to be less than ideal, you still keep going back for more, and because we know there’s no stopping you, we thought we’d at least help by compiling a list of some of our favorite kitchen infomercials.
The products on this list are ones that, if you can’t resist picking up the phone, we’d suggest you try. Based on generally positive user reviews and on the idea that at the heart of it, these are pretty cool concepts, we've compiled a list of products that's meant to keep buyers’ remorse away. They’re not perfect, and they’re certainly not necessary in your collection of kitchen equipment, but in a perfect infomercial world, we thought hey, that’s pretty neat.
Just as ordering from an infomercial is a gamble, there are a few tricks to the trade that you need to keep in mind. The first is that as we mentioned before, infomercial products are pretty much always going to be cheap (read: cheaply made). If you’re looking for top-of-the-line and superior products, you’re in the wrong place, and we suggest you Google where the nearest Williams-Sonoma is. The second thing to remember is that there’s always going to be a negative review, and you’ll find most of them on Amazon.com, so know what you’re getting yourself into with that in mind. It’s also important to think of infomercials as bargain shopping — most of the prices we’ve listed are from the products' sites, but just because it’s listed at one price doesn’t mean you can’t find it somewhere else for much cheaper. And lastly, you don’t need more than one. Buying a product off an infomercial is a risk, so don’t double your chances of things ending badly.
Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce