Klarstein Wok & Roll Party 4 Electric Wok Set
It can be difficult to throw dinner parties when you’re vegetarian. There’s the conflict between wanting to cater for your guests and their carnivorous tastes and not wanting that meaty sausage anywhere near your food, thank you very much. I’ve been wanting to have a dinner party with my parents and partner for a while, and reviewing this product looked like an excellent opportunity.
I thought that Klarstein were on to a good thing here – the Wok & Roll Party Set has four little colour coded woks on a hot plate that guests can use to cook up their own selections of ingredients in multiple different combinations. It could cater for all sorts of dietary needs, while providing a fun and unusual dinner party centrepiece.
Oh that it had actually worked.
The big problem with this product was, that for a hot plate, it didn’t really get very hot. We divided up our food into our woks, adding a spritz of cooking spray and waited for our delicious Mexican or Chinese themed dishes to start sizzling.
Then we waited some more. And some more.
My step-father, veteran of the Raclette grill, said it would only be a matter of time. The hot plate needed to heat up to a critical point, then everything would start cooking rapidly. We waited. A bubble appeared in the spicy sauce in one of the woks. My step-father promised we’d hear sizzling soon. We held our breath.
And heard an audible clunk. It sounded to me a lot like a limiter kicking in.
We gave it way more time than we should have, and the hot plate never reached that critical point. We had about two tiny woks of lukewarm, but raw food each. Food was pre-cooked in the microwave to speed up the process. The meat eaters cooked their sausages in the oven. I looked morosely at my frozen Quorn and wondered how long it would take to soften it enough to chew.
We soon gave up on the woks altogether and started cooking directly on the hotplate. Which was marginally more successful, but reduced the quantities of food that could be cooked even further. After twenty minutes we had some reasonably well cooked courgettes. I’d had two bottles of cider to fill my grumbling stomach, and was finding the whole situation rather hilarious.
In the interest of finding something positive to say about this, I decided to test it out with the other suggested use – making pancakes. I made up a mixture and turned the hot plate on.
To be fair, it did cook the pancake well fairly quickly. It’s not best designed for pancakes though, with the surface of the hot-plate having indentations for the woks to sit in, so at best you could make a few drop scones.
When trying to fill the time between courses on the original disaster dinner, we got to discussing what uses the hot plate could potentially have. We decided it could be a very stylish centrepiece for a buffet – each of the little woks keeping a different dip warm. It wouldn’t get hot enough to burn food, or drunken guests, and the colourful woks would definitely look good.
But as a method of actually cooking food, it’s just not fit for purpose. Fortunately, my mother saw the funny side.