What is it? a 12-in-one kitchen tool that folds flat for easy storage
What does it claim? to make kitchen work quick and easy
Who tested it Virginia Beach resident and Back Bay Gourmet employee Brandy Wentz
What Are The Instructions? To use the Chef Basket as a Colander or Strainer you need to first grab the handles and pull it up to transform it into a basket. Then from the basket position, unfold the handles out and place them down on the surface about 8 inches apart to form a free-standing colander.
f you want to use it for cooking, boiling, blanching, par-boiling, poaching or deep frying you need to take the Chef Basket from the Colander position and fill it with food such as pasta. Then unfold the handles and lift up the Chef Basket. Then carefully place the basket in the pot of boiling water.
It should be noted that in order to keep the handles of the Chef Basket cool during cooking they must be positioned horizontally outside the pot.
When the cooking is done, turn off the heat, simply lift the basket out by the handles to let the water drain back into the pot. Then you can empty the food directly into your serving dish. Be careful not to touch the Chef Basket until it cools down.
If you want to use your Chef Basket as a steamer, you need to turn the basket upside down and ensure that the bottom remains well about the water line for steaming food. Be sure to keep the handles extended horizontally outside the pot. Then place the lid over the pot. It's okay if there's a little bit of space between the lid and the pot. The steam will remain in the pot and cook the food perfectly.
Be sure not to use your Chef Basket in small cooking pots, saute pans or sauce pans. Use it in standard 4-6 quart size pots or Dutch oven.
Did it work? Our tester thought it did a pretty good job. Her favorite part was being able to take her pasta in the Chef Basket right out of the pan and put it in a serving plate. Since space is a consideration in most kitchens Wentz also liked the fact that the Chef Basket folds flat and can be stored just about anywhere.
Cost/Availability? We purchased the Chef Basket for $14.99 at Walgreens.