Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Ron Popeil Changed My Life


jwagnerdsm
 Share

Recommended Posts

I always feel guilty slapping a chicken onto my Showtime Rotesserie oven. I love gadgets and couldn't resist it when my wife bought it for me a year ago. And I hate to admit it but it works great. When people come over, it's the one thing people always gravitate toward.

Two questions:

Anyone else have a Made For TV kitchen gadget they love and are maybe a little ashamed of?

Anybody else have the Showtime? What do you use it for besides chicken?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have one, yet, but I think those whisk/grabber things are pretty cool. Then, this thread came up:

MoMA Design Store Fall 2003 catalogue

And...

TaDa

Guilt free. :biggrin:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gadgets maim the mind and keep the hands more busy with cleanup than wiping a knife and cleaning a board ever can.

Ron P can go play with his pocket fisherman.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, Jimmyo, you'll be glad to know my second favorite gadget is a big club that I use to beat the chicken to death before plucking it and gutting it in the backyard.

Does Ron Popeil sell chicken clubs too?

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

jwagnerdsm,

Basically the Showtime is a barbeque charcoal-starter housed in a cheap, poorly insulated tin, glass and plastic box. It puts out more heat into the room than a kerosene heater at twice the expense. No doubt the lawyers insisted that it be sold with a pair of welders mitts.

Thankfully I haven't seen it again on the counter of my mother's house since she bought one. She loaded the chicken so that it's legs were slapping the heating elements on every revolution. I threw away the useless rubber bands that were included at no cost and trussed the bird with twine.

I don't doubt that you can get good results with it. I just find the thing cheap and fucking dangerous.

PJ

PS Do you have a George Foreman grill? :wink:

"Epater les bourgeois."

--Lester Bangs via Bruce Sterling

(Dori Bangs)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PJS,

I don't have a George Foreman grill. I'm sorry your mother doesn't know how to truss a chicken and I recognize that cooking can be dangerous. I wasn't trying to sell you a Showtime, I was only mentioning that I have found it to be a reliable way to cook a very nice chicken.

edited to correct spelling

Edited by jwagnerdsm (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I LOVE my Showtime. S.O. hates it b/c he says it cooks better than he can on an outdoor grill. :biggrin:

Makes awesome pork loin. Make little slits and stuff with Tuscan herbed salt (sage, rosemary, garlic, kosher salt whirled together - from Sally Schneider's A New Way to Cook). 20 minutes a pound. Perfection.

I've also made lobster tails and souvlaki - very good.

It may be cheap and f'ing dangerous, but I still love it.

I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everything you ever needed to know about Ron Popeil and his products

Ie, the award-winning Malcom Gladwell article.

I thought I heard they were making a movie bio of his life. Does anyone know about this? I saw this brief mention in a column at Powell Books by Tim Sandlin:

The last three projects I worked on, before breaking back for fiction, were bio-pics of Gorgeous George, Ron Popeil, and Brian Zembic.

Ron Popeil bills himself as the "World's Greatest Salesman" and I believe him. He has created hundreds of products, from Veg-O-matic to the Pocket Fisherman to that black stuff you spray on your head to fool people into thinking you have hair. He invented the infomercial. Local TV wouldn't exist between two and six a.m. if it weren't for Ron."

Edited by mikeycook (log)

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And somewhere at my mother's house is a box of KTel records I once bought from Ron... 50 songs on one album and nicely edited to get rid of all the boring parts....  :raz:

I think Ronco and K-Tel were quite different companies. K-Tel was started by the Kives family out of Winnipeg. The Kives started as carnies, I believe, selling things like the veg-o-matic on the fair and carnival circuit.

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a George Foreman Grill that I'm quite fond of, but I have always coveted a Showtime Rotisserie. Counter space issues have been what has prevented me from succumbing thus far. But I think if I were to rearrange a few things like the coffee maker and the blender there'd be room... :hmmm:

Basilgirl, I am much encouraged by your recommendations. As goofy and annoying as the informercials can be, it's nice to know it really works on those things they show during the sales pitch.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And somewhere at my mother's house is a box of KTel records I once bought from Ron...   50 songs on one album and nicely edited to get rid of all the boring parts....  :raz:

I think Ronco and K-Tel were quite different companies. K-Tel was started by the Kives family out of Winnipeg. The Kives started as carnies, I believe, selling things like the veg-o-matic on the fair and carnival circuit.

Fresco,

I seem to recall that during an interview on Larry King (where Ron rotisseried a chicken during real time to show how fast his product was) that Ron said he was also K-Tel. :blink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And somewhere at my mother's house is a box of KTel records I once bought from Ron...   50 songs on one album and nicely edited to get rid of all the boring parts....  :raz:

I think Ronco and K-Tel were quite different companies. K-Tel was started by the Kives family out of Winnipeg. The Kives started as carnies, I believe, selling things like the veg-o-matic on the fair and carnival circuit.

Fresco,

I seem to recall that during an interview on Larry King (where Ron rotisseried a chicken during real time to show how fast his product was) that Ron said he was also K-Tel. :blink:

It is certainly possible that Ron Popeil learned how to sell stuff by working for the K-Tel crowd (a lot of people did, including Garth Drabinsky, the disgraced former Broadway impresario) but the company was founded by Philip Kives, as the link below shows, and was run out of Winnipeg for many years.

Just reread the Gladwell piece (read it when it was first published a couple of years ago) and he mentions that Popeil started out selling stuff on the boardwalk at Atlantic City too, and that his family invented the Veg-o-Matic. So it's possible that the Kives crowd got their start with Popeil and not vice versa. Gladwell doesn't mention them.

http://www.cpsa.com/Awards/Gui/Html/Philip...ipKives_bio.asp

Edited by fresco (log)
Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everything you ever needed to know about Ron Popeil and his products

Ie, the award-winning Malcom Gladwell article.

I thought I heard they were making a movie bio of his life. Does anyone know about this? I saw this brief mention in a column at Powell Books by Tim Sandlin:

The last three projects I worked on, before breaking back for fiction, were bio-pics of Gorgeous George, Ron Popeil, and Brian Zembic.

Ron Popeil bills himself as the "World's Greatest Salesman" and I believe him. He has created hundreds of products, from Veg-O-matic to the Pocket Fisherman to that black stuff you spray on your head to fool people into thinking you have hair. He invented the infomercial. Local TV wouldn't exist between two and six a.m. if it weren't for Ron."

Ron didn't invent the Infomercial. In fact my first exposure to a "Infomercial", was after I had collected my protection money from the "Ernie Kovac's" live television show, broadcasting from "Jolly Charley's Motors", on Bruckner Blvd. in the Bronx. I hurried over to my neighbors apartment to pick up my mother and watch on their new "TV", Wrestling that featured "Gorgeous George", battling with the"Swedish Angel". The wrestling match was followed by a my first "Infomercial", that continued to run for a long time, with no competition. It was about this new stuff that worked wonders for your hair, "Lanolin", lasted pretty long, and if i'm not mistaken eventually led to requlations that kept "Informercials" off the air for many years. Irwin

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PJS,

I don't have a George Foreman grill. I'm sorry your mother doesn't know how to truss a chicken and I recognize that cooking can be dangerous. I wasn't trying to sell you a Showtime, I was only mentioning that I have found it to be a reliable way to cook a very nice chicken.

edited to correct spelling

You're right. My 75 year-old mother doesn't know how to truss a chicken with rubber bands. :wink:

All my venom was meant to be directed at Popeil and not at you.

The Foreman Grill mention was a cheap shot that I apologize for--although I still think it is a useless piece of shit.

PJ

"Epater les bourgeois."

--Lester Bangs via Bruce Sterling

(Dori Bangs)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those whisk/tongs are good in theory, but they are very flimsy.  I nearly broke one the first time I used it.  The locking mechanism is made of very thin plastic.

I have those tongs and I like them! The whisk part is BS, but the tongs work nicely for delicate stuff like fish.

And so far so good on the locking thing, even in the dishwasher.

Though, I must say, I would not trade my trusty kitchen-supply tongs for a lifetime supply of the Moma version!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...