Monday, January 05, 2009

Silly kitchen gadget No. 34

Here's another item I saw at the now-defunct Linens 'n' Things a few weeks ago: Can you guess what it is?

I won't make you work too hard at guessing. Yes, it's a mini burger press.

Now, I did not grow up where sliders are a tradition. I never met a mini burger until I went to school in Nashville and discovered Krystal burgers. So when I saw this, I thought, "Silly!"

Then I started poking around online to find out more. There are, as it turns out, several permutations of this gadget. Three-, four-, five- and six-patty presses. Two-patty presses for ordinary-sized burgers. Presses that can go on the grill.

You can even get a complete slider-making set with press, grill basket and bun-cutter. Sur La Table wants $55 for all that, if you can imagine.

And all of these presses are made by the same company in China. Every single press, from the $27 Williams-Sonoma one to the $11-on-closeout Linens 'n' Crap ones.

And while I'm at it, I'll point out yet another burger-sizing gadget for making uniform patties in mini or regular size. You "dial" the plastic sleeve to the size you want, then lock it in. They cost $5 and $6, or $10 for both at Chefs Catalog.

So here's the thing. Now that I've spent the last half-hour looking at mini burgers, I'm kind of hungry for one. Actually, I'm all nostalgic for a stack of Krystal cheeseburgers. At Vanderbilt, Krystals were the go-to at 3 a.m. when pulling an all-nighter for whatever reason (I won't go into details, Mom). We don't have Krystal or White Castle in Denver.

You could make pretty decent mini-burgers using a biscuit cutter or even a drinking glass, I'll warrant. Maybe I'll try that next weekend.

Do you eat a lot of burgers? Do you have/want one of these mini-presses? What are your thoughts on White Castle and/or Krystal sliders? Yummy or abomination? Inquiring minds want to know.


  1. Y'know, now I AM wanting some mini-burgers! I don't have a mini press, nor a maxi one for that matter, but I might have to pat out a few the old-fashioned way.

  2. Here in the DC area we had Little Taverns and their famous deathballs, very small burgers topped mostly with onions. To die for. Although some would say to die FROM, hence the name. The last LT closed in 2008, and yep, we had one right across from the main entrance to my college, the University of Maryland in College Park. Oh the joys of junk food.

  3. I love LOVE LOVE White Castle and Krystal. Sliders in general. Luckily we don't have them here or I am afraid I would spend way to much time there. I do make special trips whenever I'm states side. There is a place in St. Croix that makes amazing sliders, but I don't get there often enough. I don't think I would use one of these though.

  4. I don't know much about sliders either, living out here in California, but I am very intrigued by the idea that you take your camera shopping with you. Great idea, probably saves you tons of $$ and provides good blog fodder!

  5. Well that is just dumb, not merely silly. How hard is it to make a meat patty?

    I tend to think sliders are, on the whole, overrated. I mean, if you want a burger, have a burger. Why have three little ones when the one big one could be (for instance) a Smashburger?

    You have a Smashburger dangerously near to where you live, you know. I've recently blogged on the dangers.

    Your food and restaurant posts are the best. The food photos are darn near pornographic.

  6. I have been enjoying your blog anonymously for a while now (found it through Flickr's SPCR group), but this year, no more anonymous. I've never had Krystal or White Castle, but a co-worker once brought in some mini-burgers and he used Pillsbury Grands biscuits for the buns. I now make these on occassion, but have never seen the need for a hamburger press...just one more greasy thing to wash!

  7. Homemade mini-burgers = yes. But a burger press? Use a spatula.

    And I grew up w/White Castle. Blech.

  8. I dont think so this sill gadget really for making mini burgers that much effectively. any how will try when i available in market.. thanks for sharing

  9. Kathi, make some for me, too!

    Aw, Pam, I'll bet you were sorry when they closed. I would be. I like the onions Krystals puts on their burgers.

    Mimi, I think we're both probably lucky they're not really accessible.

    Kitchen Gadget Girl, I guess you came to the right blog! On Mondays, anyway, when I remember. I always have my camera with me. I use it as a memory aid as well as for blog fodder.

    I think they're aiming for uniformity, unspelt, but yeah, it can't be that hard. For me, I do like a mini burger because I usually can't manage to finish a regular burger without feeling a little sick. Too much burger! I'm not familiar with Smashburger. Maybe I'll go check it out and do a post. (I have many more things I can say about burgers, anyway.) Thanks for the props!

    Hey Martha, I'm glad you delurked! New year, new you? I see a lovely caniche in your photo there. I'll have to check out your blog. Grands biscuits may be a good idea. I'll have to try it. I'm agreed on the grease!

    Vicki, yes, a spatula would work. I haven't had White Castle (yet). But hey! I see you can buy them frozen here. Hmmm ...

    Hi Chefsecrets. You're welcome!

  10. I like the full size burgers I make at home on the grill best. Well, Sweetie actually grills them. I don't get this mini burger thing. It's just a tease, if you ask me.

  11. omg i just saw a commercial for this on tv yesterday! apparently it's the best tool for those busy moms who have to make six mini egg sandwiches at once.


  12. That is WAY ridiculous. Someone should tell those people it's possible to make burgers -- even little ones -- by patting them together with your hands.

  13. I'd totally buy that, actually.

    But it's not a Krystal burger unless it has little holes in it, which keeps them nice and flat. I do prefer White Castle by a tiny bit, though, largely because they seem more exotic to me than Krystal, which was around me all of my formative years.

  14. I've never eaten Krystal or White Castle, but I have a weakness for those little sliders. I've made them at home, but I use my hands, not a mini-press!