George Foreman and Daylight Robbery

No, I’m not talking about a dodgy decision in a professional boxing match. Read on and it will all become clear.

Our George Foreman grill had to be replaced. Big areas of the non-stick coating had come off. The reason for this is that it’s almost impossible to clean, because being an electrical item, it can’t be immersed in water. There are things you can do to make cleaning easier, but none are perfect.

So, this time we bought one with detachable plates. So far, this makes all the difference. You can take off the plates to wash them in warm soapy water, and a sponge. Easy!

Though putting the plates in a metallic rack, especially before they have been washed, is not a good idea. Whatever were they thinking about when they took this advertising photo?

One other thing. There is a situation where having detachable plates won’t help. That is when a bit of food sticks to the plate, and you want to remove it to eat it! Warm, soapy water will not improve its flavour. The only thing I could find in the house that will fit in the grooves is a dining knife! So, before it happens with the new grill, I measured the width of the grooves and it came to 13mm. Do you think I could buy a suitable wooden or plastic spatula? Not a chance!

You might have thought that there would be a market for something that might even fit the groove pattern on the plates! But there was only one thing I could find. It’s sold under the George Foreman brand. And here it is…

Yes, you read that right. A bit of moulded plastic, £34.75. Generously, it’s usually dispatched within 3-4 days. If I were flogging that rubbish at that price, I’d be running straight out to the post box before you changed your mind! That is daylight robbery!

If I Were a Carpenter

So I thought it was time to acquire some carpentry skills. I have some tools I’d accumulated over time, and I sent off for a pack of four spatulas made of Beech (£3.85 on Ebay). What I needed to do this was a bradawl, a drill with a 6mm wood bit, a pencil, a ruler, a baby hacksaw (poundshop stuff), and a file (fine rasp).

I measured the repeating pattern on the grill plates, and they repeat every 19mm. The ridges are 6mm wide, and the valleys are 13mm.

I drew a line across the spatula, and marked the points of the pattern along it. Two marks 13mm apart, centred on the line, then 6mm either side, etc. I drew lines from the marks to the top of the spatula, at right angles. In the 6mm parts, I made a mark in the centre which I pushed the bradawl through, before finishing the holes off with the drill. Then used the hacksaw to cut out the bits I didn’t need. I made the cuts to that the “prongs” were very slightly too large, then used the file to make them fit.

On another wooden spatula, I just left one 13mm prong. This was the result, pictured along with a uncut spatula.

Of course, nothing has stuck so far, but if and when it does, we’ll be prepared. And as for the legalised robbery carried out by the company that owns the George Foreman brand, I have one thing to say:

Give ’em the bird!!

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