Does it Work: Single appliance does work of 3
Black + Decker’s 3-in-1 Morning Meal Station comes with three plates — waffle, toastie and a grill.
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I was eager to test Black + Decker’s 3-in-1 Morning Meal Station. With the holidays approaching, I thought this item may be good for entertaining out-of-town guests, allowing hosts to offer a variety of dishes that could be made quickly.
The appliance comes with three plates — waffle, toastie (stuffed sandwiches, right) and a grill, which I used to make a delicious panini, below. I thought I would be able to alternate the plates quickly so I could, for instance, make waffles then grill bacon, followed by a few toasties. I hoped to be able to satisfy requests as they popped up so my group could eat together. That wasn’t so.
The instructions advised waiting for the gadget to cool before removing plates, meaning I had to unplug it and wait about five minutes before changing them out. That was long enough to be able to pop out a plate using a pot holder, but short enough that it was a bit dangerous. Heat-resistant gloves would have made the task safer and easier.
DOES IT WORK?
Yes, just like similar waffle makers and grills. But read the instruction booklet for tips on when to lock the latch and how to remove the plates.
Great space saver since one appliance does three things. Plates snap in and out pretty easily and are dishwasher safe. Cooks bacon without oil splashing everywhere, though if you like it crispy this isn’t the item for it. Fairly easy to clean.
Instructions give time estimates for different foods, so it would have been good to have a timer attached. If grilling meats with lots of fat, there’s no catch tray for the excess oil, so popping out the plate could get messy — and dangerous if the plate and oil are still hot. When making toasties all the fillings must be cooked first, an extra step (but great when using leftovers). Also something to note: The directions for making toasties advised cutting bread into diagonal slices. But my brilliant cousin Taryn figured out that full slices of bread, filled and then topped with another slice before closing the lid, works just as well. After removing the toastie, just slice it in half on the diagonal. That was so much easier.
COST AND AVAILABILITY
$39.99 plus shipping at blackanddecker.com; $26.99 plus $18 for delivery, taxes and fees at walmart.com; and around $29 at amazon.com.
I really like that the gadget is compact (9-by-9-by-4 inches), and if you eat a lot of soft waffles or toasties it’s OK. But I would wait for the next generation of this appliance in hopes that the makers will add a timer and an on/off switch (so I don’t have to unplug it each time I want to change plates), or figure out how to keep cool the parts of the gadget that need to be handled when removing the plates. That would alleviate the concern of getting burned.
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