The Pitch: "Simply rub with a few quick strokes for a hassle-free peeled potato"
March 2009. Tater Mitts resemble ordinary rubber kitchen gloves, but the palms have an abrasive scrubbing surface designed to remove the skin of a potato. According to the infomercial, Tater Mitts can peel a potato in eight seconds. However, those who put Tater Mitts to the test find that preparation time actually increases because the potatoes need to be boiled first (a step that the infomercial fails to mention). Users do say, however, that the gloves protect their hands from nicks and cuts.
When used on a boiled potato, Tater Mitts usually do remove the skin in roughly eight seconds, as the advertising claims -- but boiling the spuds adds several minutes to the process, users note. Reviewers also complain that the pebbled peeling surface on the mitts tends to rub off, in some cases into food. Tater Mitts only come in one size, and most users say they're too big. In addition, users find the mitts difficult to clean as the potato peels get caught in the rough surface. A small portion of reviewers who don't mind having to boil the potatoes first are happy with Tater Mitts. Likewise, those with arthritis or similar conditions find Tater Mitts easier to use than utensils. On the whole, most users agree that they'll stick with the traditional and faster methods of using a knife or peeler.
KLRT in Little Rock, Ark. and KFVS in Cape Girardeau, Mo., try out Tater Mitts in professional kitchens, and both find that Tater Mitts don't save time over traditional peeling. A reviewer for Wired.com is completely dissatisfied with his Tater Mitts experience due to the time issue, the fact that the rough surface rubs away so easily, and the difficulty in getting the mitts clean. Customers on InfomercialRatings.com echo the common complaints that the Tater Mitts don't save time, are poorly made and hard to clean, and are too large for most to use comfortably. The only positive Tater Mitts customer reviews come from those who have medical conditions that prevent them from using traditional utensils to peel potatoes.
1. KLRT (Little Rock, Ark.)
In one of his weekly "Deal or Dud" segments, Kevin Kelly puts Tater Mitts to the test with a professional cook, who deems them a "100% dud." Tater Mitts claim to be able to peel a potato in eight seconds, but the potatoes need to be boiled first. When the boiled potatoes are ready to be peeled with the Tater Mitts, he finds the eight seconds claim to be false. They eventually peel the potato, but not any faster than using a knife and a peeler. Kelly determines that Tater Mitts can help to avoid the nicks and cuts that come with traditional peeling, but they don't save any time.
Review: Deal or Dud: Tater Mitts, Kevin Kelly, July 8, 2008
2. KFVS (Cape Girardeau, Mo.)
Lauren Keith also tests Tater Mitts in a professional kitchen, and having a slightly more positive experience, gives them an overall grade of "B". She finds that having to boil the potatoes first just adds to the time Tater Mitts claim to save. The mitts do remove the skin off some boiled potatoes in just a few seconds, though a lot gets stuck in the gloves' rough surface, making cleanup a hassle. Some of the material from the gloves also rubs off with the potato skin, which concerns the restaurant owner who participates in the test. They decide that Tater Mitts are not helpful for cooking in restaurants as the boiling factor doesn't save time in the peeling process.
Review: Does it Work? Tater Mitts, Lauren Keith, May 30, 2007
Roger Thomasson reviews Tater Mitts and finds that they aren't as great as they're advertised to be. They do peel a few boiled potatoes quickly, but having to boil the potatoes beforehand increases the prep time by several minutes. After finding "little blue pebbles" from the mitts' surface mixed with the potato peels, as well as worn patches on the mitts after one use, he questions the durability of the product. Cleaning the potato residue from the mitts is difficult, and they are never fully clean. Due to the boiling factor not saving any time, the flimsy construction, and the difficult cleanup, Thomasson doesn't recommend Tater Mitts and gives them a rating of just two out of 10.
Review: Tater Mitts, Roger Thomasson, July 5, 2007
More than 20 customers review Tater Mitts on InfomercialRatings.com, and most of them are disappointed with their experience, giving the gloves only one or two stars out of a possible five. The fact that the potatoes need to be boiled before they can be peeled is the main complaint. Since the commercial doesn't factor in boiling, consumers discover that the Tater Mitts are not a time-saver in the end. Others complain that the mitts are too large for their hands and are difficult to clean. A couple of customers with medical conditions that make utensil use difficult are pleased with Tater Mitts, but most agree that using a regular knife or peeler is both faster and easier.
Review: Tater Mitts Reviews and Ratings, Contributors to InfomercialRatings.com