Monday, January 25, 2010

Big City Slider Station Scores Big!

So I'm kind of a sucker for infomercials...although luckily I usually can control myself and not give in to most of the seemingly tempting food gadgets that you see on TV during off hours. But one that really piqued my interest was the Big City Slider Station, since my friends and I really love getting mini burgers whenever we're out at bars - and who doesn't? There are many mini burger making products on the market now, but the Big City Slider Station advertises fairly often on TV, with the famous Billy Mays selling it to at-home viewers (RIP Billy). When I saw it at a local drug store on sale for only $9.99, I figured I would give it a try.

I am really happy I bought this product, and I recommend it to anyone if you can find it on sale (I honestly wouldn't pay the MSRP on this just because it's pretty simply a frying pan press with 5 slots for tiny burger patties). I thawed some ground beef and gave this product a try on Friday night and everyone who tried the burgers loved them. It comes with a scoop so it's easy to measure out the right amount of meat to make uniform patties that fit in the wells, and the pan really does quickly and evenly cook the burgers, although I found it does take a little longer than they claim - my burgers averaged about 4-6 minutes. I'm planning on busting this out on Superbowl Sunday for sure.

There are about as many variations of the slider as there are on standard sized burgers, which is something nice too. Turkey burgers, chicken burgers, steak burgers, sausage sliders, etc. The slider station comes with a little pamphlet of recipes that you can try, and there are also a number of recipes online that you can look up. I stuck to just making ground sirloin burgers, but mixed it up a little, making a few bacon and bleu cheese-topped, as well as a couple topped with pepperjack cheese and salsa, along with some basic cheeseburgers with slices of American on top - excellent with just some ketchup and mustard. We even cooked eggs in the pan the next day and served them on biscuits with bacon and cheese - also delicious and variable.

Dinner rolls are perfect-sized buns. I was a little worried about finding slider buns, but the brown-n-serve Jewel rolls were cheap and well-sized. Pepperridge farm makes great dinner rolls for this, too, or you can do what one of my favorite bars, Gaslight in Lincoln Park, does and serve them on King's Hawaiian rolls (a little sweet, soo good!). Here is a recipe that King's features on their website - Grilled Teri Sliders.

The only downside to the Big City Slider Station really is that it's not as non-stick as it claims to be, and it can kind of be a pain to clean, but it really wasn't too difficult and not enough of a problem to turn me off of the product. I would say it's definitely worth a try, and a worthy addition to your collection of kitchen gadgets, especially for game days or if you want to save money but still enjoy bar-style appetizers. Stay posted for future recipes, as I anticipate using the slider station as often as possible.

Kate's Grade: A-

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