Does it really do that? Kitchen gadgets that automatically stir as your food cooks

As Seen On TV industry is worth $300 billion

CLEVELAND - Imagine how much easier it would be to prepare Thanksgiving dinner if you had a gadget stirring the gravy for you. Two As Seen On TV products claim to do the stirring for you. Along with ConsumerReports, we tested the RoboStir and StirCrazy to answer the question "Does It Really Do That?"

Sue Carrara loves fresh produce and herbs, and shares her experience on her blog, Tremont Eats . To keep her harvest lasting all year long, Carrara cans almost everything imaginable.

"Peaches, tomatoes, and strawberries," Carrara said listing off the items she's canned this year.

That means hours stirring her preserves over the stove. So, we asked Carrara to try the RoboStir. It costs just under $10.

"It stirs so you don't have to. The RoboStir drops into any pot or pan. With the touch of a button, it automatically starts to stir," the commercial states.

We started off easy, stirring gravy. Immediately, Carrara found a feature she didn't like.

"You have to go through all three speeds just to turn it off so you can't just turn it off when you are done," Carrara explained.

With the gravy, the high speed was so fast it caused splashing. On low speed, the gravy cooked without burning.

"It did what it said it would. It stirred while I was cooking and it thickened up the gravy," Carrara said.

It worked for gravy, but what about those canned strawberries?

"That's strawberries and sugar that's it," Carrara said pointing to the strawberry preserves she poured into a pan to heat.

"These strawberries are cooked they're soft it should be no problem," Carrara said.

Consumer Reports also had problems with its test of the RoboStir and a similar product called StirCrazy. Testers stirred cheese sauce, tomato sauce and sauteed onions and garlic.

When the cheese sauce began to thicken, the RoboStir slowed down and then stopped. Same problem with StirCrazy. With the tomato sauce, the stirrers kept moving but only in a small area. So tomato pieces stuck to the pot. With sauteed onions and garlic the stirrers stayed in the middle of the pan pushing the onion and garlic to the side.

"Once the onions and garlic were pushed to the side, the oil would be splashed from the pan to the stove," Consumer Reports tester Bernie Deitrick said.

Consumer Reports and Carrara both found you're better off investing in a spoon.

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Does it really do that?