Saturday, March 6, 2010

Gadget: Bean Frencher

Today, I did a product demo at Cayenne Kitchen, and one of the gadgets I was demonstrating was a green bean frencher made by Chef'n. It lookes like a strange shoehorn, but it's nice little kitchen gadget.

Honestly,  never thought that I'd buy a bean frencher. But then again, the only bean frenchers I'd ever seen before were crank models that were meant for serious production. That would be handy if you were canning or freezing the harverst, but a lot more than I'd want to store for the occasional times I'd want French-cut green beans for dinner.

So up until now, I've bought frozen French-cut beans when I wanted them.

I suppose the other choice would be to cut the beans with a knife. But this little gadget makes it a lot easier, and it's even go a built-in nipper to take off the ends.

And the cutting is simple. Just push the bean through the blades until it gets far enough to grab and pull through.

It takes a little practice to get a rhythm going, but then it's pretty simple to slice up a bunch of beans. And I've got to say that fresh beans taste so much better than the frozen'

Since I know that a lot of people don't like the idea of a unitasker in the kitchen, I also used the device to slice some asparagus for the demo. But really, it will work with any vegetable that's crisp enough to be able to push into the blades, but not too hard. Carrots probably wouldn't work.

This summer, I think it will come in handy for slicing snap peas for stir-fries and salads, and it probably will be handy for small pickles, as well.

The hole isn't huge, so it's not going to accommodate zucchini, but bigger vegetables like that are easy enough to cut with a knife, or to slice with a mandoline, in larger quantities.

Overall, it's a useful little gadget. It's not a must-have like a wooden spoon, cutting board, or spatula, but it's definately handy to have if you like French-cut green beans, and you prefer fresh to frozen.