18 May, 2006

The Stir Chef

I bought this in a job-lot store for a fraction of its original price. The Stir Chef. It's incredibly cool - so cool that I can't believe they were in a markdown shop - and so simple that it's hard to believe no one ever came up with it before.

Basically, it's a high-torque, low-speed motor with three extendable, spring-loaded legs which clip to the edge of a pot. An extendable shaft passes through the center of the unit and is rotated by the motor. On the end of the shaft, you clip a paddle corresponding to the diameter of the pot you are using.

Set whatever you're cooking to simmer, turn on the Stir Chef, and you can go about your other business in the kitchen - the Stir Chef does the stirring for you. It works great for pudding, sauces, soups, and even high-density, hard-to-stir crap like oatmeal, corn meal mush, and grits. In the picture on the left, I have it stirring a 6-cup batch of scrapple (a mixture of pork, spices, and cornmeal) on low heat. Scrapple gets so thick as it cooks that it hurts to stir, but the Stir Chef handles it without even heating up.

Anyway, I don't want this to turn into an advertisement, so I'll cut it short. If you find this thing at a remainder shop near you, buy it, you won't be sorry. Hell, it even comes with batteries so you can play with it in the car on the way home.


wkitty42 said...

so, how's this StirChef doing these days? are you still using it? how's the battery consumption? ;)

Dave said...

Two years later, and the Stir Chef is still going strong. I use it whenever I'm making something that calls for undivided attention to stirring.

Battery consumption is very low, I have only replaced the batteries once (the ones I replaced were the ones that came with the unit.)

Although I'm very happy with it, a few months later I went to the store where I bought it and they didn't have any more - and I have never seen them again. Too bad. I wanted to buy about a dozen of them for gifts.

Anonymous said...

I also own a Stir Chef and love it! I am having problems finding the product again! I want to give them as gifts - do you know who has them online so I can purchase more?

Dave said...

Sorry, Anonymous. The Stir-Chef is no longer available anywhere. The company that made them is out of business.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,
I came upon this older post and thought I'd forward a website for a product you might like. It's called the Chef's Stir Pan by KitchenStir. It is not as awkward as the Stir Chef,since the stirring comes from the bottom allowing for ease in adding ingredients. Hope this helps! www.kitchenstir.com

Dave said...

Thanks for the tip, Anonymous.

More Cowbell said...

I, too, love the Stir Chef. I got mine when they were first in business, met the manufacturer at a culinary conference. I asked how strong the motor was because I often make huge pots of polenta, and he told me they tested it by have it stir cement! ;)
The business was doing okay, selling mainly through word of mouth (all good), then Cook's Illustrated's resident equipment tester (read certified idiot) panned it, on their television show, because...you couldn't put the lid on the pot with the Stir Chef in place!!!
I defy the moron to "stir continuously" by hand with the lid on the pot. What an irresponsible jerk to say something so stupid in that kind of forum. Killed the product with all those equally dim types who couldn't see that his reasoning did not compute.
Still (obviously) makes me angry. I originally bought several for myself, my mom etc. When friends asked about it a couple years later, I had to tell them, sorry, Cook's Illustrated killed it.