About Crispy Mate
Crispy Mate claims to be a miracle cooking tray that allows air to circulate 360 degrees around your food and to heat it evenly, providing you with meals that are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
Instead of trapping moisture under your food or having it soak in unhealthy grease and oil, as with traditional oven pans, Crispy Mate’s high-tech mesh is claimed to help your food heat evenly, whether it’s in the microwave, oven, or outdoor grill. In addition, Crispy Mate can be cut to any shape or size, allowing it to fit anywhere you need.
And once you’re finished cooking, Crispy Mate is claimed to be dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
They say that “simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication,” but does Crispy Mate’s simple design make it a must-have piece of cookware, or will you just be throwing your money away? Consider the following:
Will Crispy Mate Help Make Your Food Healthier?
First, it should be noted that most individuals will probably use Crispy Mate to warm up fried foods, which have been pre-cooked, frozen, and then shipped to your local grocer. And ultimately, Crispy Mate can help prevent you from having to re-fry these foods in order to heat them up, which can reduce some of the unhealthy ingredients you consume.
However, by their very nature, fried foods are unhealthy, whether you re-heat them in oil or not. This means that you’ll still need to limit the amount of fried foods you eat, regardless of whether or not you’re using Crispy Mate.
Does Crispy Mate Work As Well As the Manufacturer Claims?
While Crispy Mate’s mesh design may help prevent moisture from building up underneath your food, in addition to preventing your food from sitting in unhealthy grease and oil, keep in mind that there’s a difference between air circulation and heat for cooking purposes.
In other words, under normal conditions using a metal tray, your oven’s interior air will first heat the tray, which then heats your food. This is a process known as conduction. On the other hand, without a tray to heat your food (as with Crispy Mate), the air inside your oven directly transfers heats to your food, which is known as convection, and which is responsible for increased crispiness.
However, how well your oven circulates heat and air depends largely on the model, as well as whether or not it features a convection setting. Ultimately, this means that you still might not receive ideal results using the Crispy Mate, depending on the type of oven you’re using.
Is the Crispy Mate High Quality?
While there weren’t any customer reviews for Crispy Mate at the time of our research (more about this in a moment), and we didn’t try it ourselves, it basically appears to be a thin piece of mesh that’s raised on each side. Because of this, we might wonder how easily its shape will become distorted from regular use and high heat, causing your food to roll around and potentially heat unevenly.
In addition, although the manufacturer claims that Crispy Mate can be cut to any size or shape, we’d be concerned about sharp, pointy edges sticking out once you did this.
Are There Options Similar to Crispy Mate?
In short, yes. In fact, if you type “oven mesh tray” or “oven mesh sheet” into your favorite search engine, you’ll be greeted with dozens of similar products. And while many of these are priced higher than Crispy Mate, many appear to feature sturdier construction for longer use.
In fact, you might even be able to use materials purchased from your local hardware or home improvement store to make something nearly identical to Crispy Mate, but at a much lower cost.
What Do Crispy Mate’s Customers Have to Say?
At the time of our research, Crispy Mate was newly released (URL registered February 2015) and didn’t have any online customer reviews available.
However, Crispy Mate is manufactured by Telebrands, one of the biggest players in the “As Seen on TV” industry, whole also makes popular ASOTV products such as Ankle Genie, Copper Hands, Pocket Hose Ultra, Trusty Cane, and many more.
Among nearly 220 HighYa reader reviews for these products (as of 4/2/15), they held an average rating of 1.5 stars. Common complaints included poor quality products, failure to work as advertised, and difficulty processing returns/poor customer service. While this may not necessarily be what you’ll experience with Crispy Mate, but it’s worth keeping in mind.
Furthermore, Telebrands holds an F rating with the Better Business Bureau, with more than 1,300 closed complaints, most of which reference the same concerns noted above. In fact, it appears that the BBB has recently revoked Telebrands’s accreditation.
Crispy Mate Pricing & Refund Policy
Crispy Mate is priced at $10 plus $13.98 S&H. For this price, you’ll receive:
- 2 round trays
- 2 square trays
- 2 Crispy Mate baskets
Like most Telebrands products, Crispy Mate comes with a 30-day refund policy, less S&H charges. As such, if you decide to return your Crispy Mates, you could lose twice as much in S&H charges as you’ll receive as a refund.
With this said, if you’d like to process a return, you’ll need to contact customer service at 855-668-1655.
Should You Buy Crispy Mate?
Chopping to the Point: Without any online customer reviews, it’s impossible to say, although based on the product’s design and on the manufacturer’s reputation, we might be concerned about Crispy Mate’s overall quality.
And when you consider that there are many other options available—including DIY methods using materials from your local hardware store—as well as the high, non-refundable S&H charges, we’d recommend exploring all your options before ordering a Crispy Mate.