Does it Work Wednesday?
By: Lauren Keith
By: Lauren Keith
In the past three weeks, I've received daily emails requesting I try the "Tater Mitts" before you buy them, on Does it Work Wednesday. I can see why so many of you would want these blue, kitchen gloves to work. After all, the product claims to peel a potato in eight seconds. All you have to do is rub the gloves over the potato! The gloves have a rough texture to them to help take off the peel. But, can it really be that easy?
"Hot rolls! Get your hot rolls right here!" shouts a waiter at the infamous Lambert's restaurant in Sikeston. Yes, Lambert's is well-known for its "throwed rolls", but not far behind are the famous "pass-arounds", especially the fried potatoes. "They like those fried potatoes and onions!" says kitchen manager Lee Blissett.
Blisset says his staff feeds about 3,000 people on any average Saturday, so it's easy to see why Lambert's staff use big pots to cook it all. In one pot, there are 30-40 potatoes! Lee says that makes enough mashed potatoes to feed 200 people. So, could the Tater Mitts come in handy here?
Let's get to the test. Lee and I read the instructions. "Well, well, well....we haven't even started, and immediately, this Does it Work test shows you something you won't see in the minute and a half infomercial!" I point out to Lee.
The instruction say: For the tater mitts to work, you have to boil the potatoes for five minutes! Now, we're starting to peel away the "real" results here. All right, so we boil the potatoes for five minutes, and now it's time to see if the bizarre looking kitchen gloves can really scrub and peel a whole potato.
"I've got my timer, are you ready to go?" I ask Lee. You had to know I was going to test that 8 second claim - come on! "Go!" I yell with the timer in hand.
By the way, the directions also say to run cold water while you're scrubbing. Exactly, 8 seconds later, "That's pretty good," says Lee.
It is, but we also noticed some of the peel fell right off, even before we ever started scrubbing. So, Lee and I think the boiling makes this product work more than anything. We're going to test our theory, too.
Lee grabs an un boiled, plain ole' potato. "No, it didn't work at all," he laughs.
So, you definitely have to boil potatoes for these gloves to run anything off. Now, it's my turn. I scrub up the potatoes in less than eight seconds. I'm impressed, but I don't know if cleanup will be any fun. And it's not. Some of the peel rinses away, but a lot of it gets stuck in the rough grooves on the gloves. Just make sure you rinse the gloves as you go.
Now a closer look into the strainer and it appears we're cleaning up something else! The blue Tater Mitts leave a blue chunk behind. "Some of the glove is coming off into the food, and that does concern me, even if the product works," says Lee.
Good point. OK, let's slice and dice up a grade here. "A minus," says Lee. However, he later told me he wants to change that to a B plus. That blue chunk left behind started weighing on this kitchen manager's mind. I also have to add: one week later, I'm still trying to get rid of potato mush stuck on the gloves.
Still, the Tater Mitts do work, as long as you follow the instructions and boil your potatoes. As for Lambert's, Lee says they don't need anything else boiling up here. This kitchen is already full. In fact, the restaurant now buys pre-peeled potatoes, but Le himself might buy some mitts.
"I think it'd be great at home. Even though the company didn't tell us we had to boil potatoes, up front, I personally don't think it's a big deal to just throw a pot on, and five minutes later, scrubbing up some potatoes. It beats having to slice 'em with a knife or kitchen peeler," says Lee.