And I am so excited that I can finally share it with you. I hate keeping secrets, and I've been keeping one (only because I had to sign a big, long, huge, legal document and big, long, huge, legal documents scare me).
Back in April, I got a phone call from a television producer. He was assembling a group to put together an infomercial for a new slow cooker cooking system. I was pretty hesitant and skeptical, and initially said no. Although I've spent hours and hours watching infomercials in the middle-of-the night while up with sick kids or newborns, I always just kind of brushed them off.
But Adam told me that I should at least hear him out. Since the product was still in production, the company couldn't let one out of the building for me to test out. Instead, they flew Adam and me out (to Boston!) to check it out for ourselves. It was the first time we had left all three kids, and while I was skeptical of the upcoming sales pitch, I was kind of excited to have a date night in Boston...
We flew out, had a great meal in Quincy Market, and then headed over to Euro-Pro's headquarters (they are the parent company of the Ninja and Shark products). I decided to play it cool, and not get my hopes too high.
and then I saw the machine.
I started to get really excited and immediately began opening and closing the pot and started to play around with the features. My voice got kind of squealy and I may have drooled a teensy bit (not quite sure, but it's entirely possible). And that's when my darling husband squeezed my arm and whispered (hey Steph, it's okay to let them pitch you) and I realized that I needed to be Business Like.
I agreed to be filmed for the Infomercial and was happy to sign on to help promote the new Ninja Cooking System. The infomercial will begin airing this week (probably in the middle of the night, but also sometimes during the day on random channels) and I can FINALLY tell you how completely and totally awesome this product is.
I personally have used every make and model of slow cooker on the market. In these past 4 years, I've tested and prepared over 1000 slow cooker recipes, and this truly (truly!) is the best cooker I've ever used.
- The first thing you will notice is that it has a metal pot. The second thing you will notice is that the dial has a Stove Top and an Oven setting. It's NOT just a slow cooker--- it's a mini oven and a hot plate also.
This is cool because you can brown your meat, caramelize your onions and garlic, and then switch it over to slow cook all day long. There's no need to drag out a frying pan at 6 am!!
- Also, because of this stovetop setting, you can make a sauce reduction or gravy right in the pot after slow-cooking all day. No need to transfer the liquid to a separate pan. Way cool.
- Just like my "old favorite" pots, this cooker is fully programmable in 30-minute increments for both High and Low settings and will flip automatically to a Warm setting to keep your dinner hot and safe until you arrive home at the end of a long day.
- The oven setting goes all the way up to 425°, and because the lid traps in all the steam, you can count on really moist meats-- even if you don't have the time to slow cook all day long. I did ribs in 2 hours on the Oven (steam roast) Setting and they fell off the bone-- absolutely perfect ribs.
- Because of the lid and the trapped steam, you can bake light and moist breads, cakes, and muffins with half the fat or oil. The steam keeps your baked products super-moist, even with gluten free mixes or flours. AWESOME. (no need to do math --- just literally cut the oil or butter in half in your favorite boxed mix or homemade recipe).
- The pot has "Triple Fusion Heat"--- because of this, both the sides of the pot and the bottom heat up while in the oven setting. This means you can make things you can't normally make in a slow cooker or even on the stovetop-- like a full spaghetti and meatball meal in just 20 minutes (raw spaghetti, water, jar of sauce, bag of frozen meatballs; all gluten-free is JUST fine, I've tested it out a bunch of times!). The pasta absorbs the liquid from the sauce and the water and cooks without needing to be drained. Love this.
- Since the pot is metal with a non-stick surface, it really cleans well. In my old stoneware pots I'd need to soak them overnight sometimes, and I'll even add a dryer sheet to release the baked lasagna or stuff like that, but this pot really does wipe out clean. It's also shatter proof, and can be safely loaded the night before in the fridge and placed right into the heating element. This is something that the other slow cooker manufacturers don't recommend.
THIS has been updated as of 11/28/12: The $199.80 price includes the Ninja Cooking System, a silicone trivet, oven mitts (they're pretty cute), an Inspiration Guide, a full color cookbook, free shipping, a 5-year warranty, a roasting rack, a multi-purpose baking pan, a mini warmer, a silicone cakepop pan, and a travel tote-bag. The travel-tote is different than most because it has a velcro "seat-belt" that loops through the handle to secure it in firmly in place, and then the insulated bag.
Also, if you order through my site, I get a bit of a kick-back. I do not get paid a percentage of any other sales through the infomercial or through stores (but boy, wouldn't that be cool?)
I haven't seen the full infomercial yet, just bits and pieces. I'm kind of worried that I come across dorky, but I've been assured that everyone seems dorky in an infomercial. If you are flipping through the channels and see me, wave at the screen! I was a complete and total nervous wreck, but had so much fun. We filmed for two days, but I think I probably am only in it for a few minutes. The building we were in was a studio in the outskirts of Boston, and movies like Good Will Hunting (total classic) and Shallow Hal (not so much) were filmed there. There were movie posters lining the hallways, and there were dressing rooms with light-up mirrors -- so cool.
I am going to leave this post "alive" for questions and answers about this new Cooking System. I've been using it A LOT and am happy to be of help. And? I'm seriously thinking we should have Ninjember! (too much...?)
Thank you so much for all of your support and love. I feel like the luckiest person in the world, and I never would have been able to make a "job" out of goofing around with my slow cookers if it wasn't for you. I am incredibly grateful. Thank you.