“ Put a whole new twist on pocket sandwiches and tarts! Simply place your favourite filling between two layers of bread or dough, then cut and seal. 9 cm (3 1/2 in). „
Pampered chef is an American cooking implements company whose remit is for consultants to go to people's homes and present the range of cooking products and the guests buy whatever they feel like (my wife is a consultant).
Anyway last month Pampered Chef sent my wife the above Sandwich sealer and we have given the product a decent test.
How to use the sealer
Make a sandwich as normal, the bread has of course to be bigger than the sandwich sealer. Then with your fingers press down in the centre roughly where the sealer is going to sit. Apply pressure on the sealer and twist very slightly, this will squeeze the bread together and give the edges a crimpled effect and seal inside the contents of the sandwich. Once happy, press the central plunger and the sealer pushes the sandwich out of the mold giving a circular sandwich. The sandwich looks a little like a large mince pie in some aspects, it is slightly flatter than a normal sandwich and has a crimped finish around the edge. The sandwich can then be eaten or can be toasted and made into a toasted sandwich.
The sealer costs £10. It is made of high quality stainless steel and can be operated by children as young as 4 (with supervision obviously, we can testify to the 4 year old).
The sealer makes making and eating sandwiches fun, it certainly gave our two young boys lots of laughs when we first tried the gadget. The sandwiches do fit rather nicely into your hand, and the process of making the sandwich, made the boys more interested in eating the sandwiches and being in the kitchen in general. The toasting was a bit of a disaster first time around because you have to ensure that the sandwich is totally sealed before putting it into a standard toaster, it just about works but the edges do tend to lift if toasted for too long. This is a bit of problem as the butter inside will then run out!
The main negative is the waste of bread, it you are using a square piece of bread then you probably only use about 60-70% of the bread leaving lots of off-cuts and crusts. You could use a round loaf which would reduce this waste. The other is the toasting element which didn't really work and the mess making the sandwiches create, I couldn't imagine making hundreds of little sandwiches as small canapes which the products suggests as a use of the gadget.
Overall a fun if a little limited product, at £10 a rather expensive gadget at best, if you are going to a pampered chef party and feel the need to buy something just to be polite I'd recommend the potato masher (absolutely fantastic) or the magic whisk.
The Pampered Chef Cut 'n' Seal is a great little device. Reletively inexpensive compared to some of the products in the catalogue, it makes school packed lunches so much cleaner! The little metal contraption (which can be undone for easy cleaning - and therefore dries without rusting) simply is positioned over the sandwich, pushed down and the plunger pushed to 'seal the sandwich. When you remove the food from the machine you have alovely round, sealed sandwich, which wont leak all over your child's hand!
I have used it on various bread types and find the softer breads, such as Hovis and Kingsmill produce the best sealed sandwiches. Cheaper breads, and especially the value ranges, will crack across the top of the sealed pockets. Most fillings work very well in the sandwich and I find the cut 'n' seal will cut through most such as ham, chicken etc.
You can also use the cut 'n' seal to make circular cornish pasties, savoury tarts, mini calzone etc. Goats cheese and sun dried tomato is a personal favourite of mine. Apple pies in individual servings are also simple to cut out - use puff pastry and you will have apple turnovers!
For a cheap sweet dessert treat, dollop some fruit pie filling in between two clices of bread, seal and brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Place on a baking tray and bake at 180 for about 10 minutes till golden and serve with ice cream or custard! Very scrummy!!!
I bought mine for £8.95 and it was money well spent. The younger children don't get so messy at lunch, pies are easy and dessert possibilities endless!
I went to my first Pampered Chef party a few weeks ago and was really surprised with the variety of kitchenware items on sale. I ended up buying only a few things though as the prices are pretty steep. One of the things I couldnt wait to try was the Cut N Seal sandwich maker.
Basically it is a little metal device that creates pockets of sandwiches or tarts to cook in the oven.
I use it mainly for making sandwiches for my kids lunchboxes. Like many kids mine never eat the crusts from their traditional sandwiches and always come hone with a lunch box full of crusts and butter caked everywhere, but with this nifty little device you will see an end to all that. All you need to do is make up the sandwich as normal although only put a small amount of filling in the centre of the bread. Place the Cut N Seal over the middle of the slice of the bread and push down firmly. Sometimes this is easier said than done and you do have to put a fair amount of effort into getting it all the way through both slices. I tend to push down and then twist a little to perforate the bottom slice. As it cuts through the bread into a round shape it also squashes the edges of the bread together in a fluted pattern. Once you have removed the outer edges of the circle, give the device a little shake and out pops the sealed sandwich.
On the whole this works very well and as long as the bread is very soft it will usually always seal the edges very well. I have on a few occasions put too much filling in and once shaken out it has not sealed properly. However although this is not the desired effect it can still be eaten as a sandwich and given to the kids as their lunch. Obviously we all prefer them to be sealed as it saves on mess and makes it easier for the little ones to eat without dropping their ham etc all over the place. However it works best in my opinion with fillings like jam, cheese spread, marmite and any other smooth, wet type of filling. I think this must aid in the sealing process a little bit allowing the filling to be used as a kind of glue to stick the slices of bread together.
I have only done this a few times and made Jam Tart Pockets. I used frozen pastry (I am rubbish at making it myself) and laid it out flat on the side, spread the whole section with jam, quite thickly, and placed another layer of pastry on the top. Then using the Cut N Seal I went over it creating as many circular pockets as the pastry would allow. They were a little tougher to shake out of the device than sandwiches though and the second time I did it I used a little butter spread thinly around the inside of the Cut N Seal, which really helped them slip out a little easier. After baking they came out like little jam sandwiches and hadnt risen like I assumed they would but they were really tasty. Beware though as with all cooked jam products the inside was scalding hot and they should b allowed to cool down considerably before eating especially for children. I would like to try this out with other fillings both sweet and savoury as I think they would make great little lunch snacks or hors douvres for a party.
At £8.75 its not one of the more expensive Pampered Chef products and well worth the price if you ask me. It gives the kids something a little more unusual for their lunches and allows parents to relax a little bit in terms of what sort of state the lunch boxes will come home in.
I was a little disappointed that it didnt seal them every time I used it and at the amount of pressure you need to apply to get it cut through both slices. Occasionally I still have to turn it over and press the bottom slice of bread to complete the cut and allow the edges to drop off completing the circle but this is neither a chore nor a pain and only takes a few seconds.
The tarts are really delicious and it makes a difference that they are sealed inside their pocket pastry cases. It resembles a McDonalds apple pie but in a circular shape rather than rectangular. In fact apples may be really tasty inside too. The only thing I really cannot say too many times is not to overfill the section where you put the filling. The Cut N Seal is not large enough or industrial enough to seal it correctly if there is too much in there. Saying that you can put more filling in the tarts than in sandwiches as pastry has a more elastic texture to it, whereas bread will just split open if it is stretched a little.
The kids love to help me when we are making their lunches just by pushing on the top, however it is much easier for them to help with making tarts as it cuts through the pastry a lot easier than bread. The sharp parts of the Cut N Seal will always be on the bottom, cutting into the bread or pastry so with supervision and help the kids should be safe to get their creative sides flowing. Mine certainly do.
In terms of cleaning it can be a pain, as the mechanism inside is a little bit tricky to really clean well, due to various parts covering others, but a soak in hot water prior to brushing it with a washing up brush should enable you to get all the residue off. But in any case if you are lucky enough to have a dishwasher this will not be a problem as it is dishwasher safe! However I would recommend drip drying as you will never be able to get a tea towel into all the various nooks and crannies inside to dry properly.
You cannot buy these online or in the shops and have to attend or host a Pampered Chef party, which is highly recommend as it is a fun and interesting evening. The number to call to book a party is 01344 293900.
RECOMMENDED for originality, fun and tastiness.
Put a whole new twist on pocket sandwiches and tarts! Simply place your favourite filling between two layers of bread or dough, then cut and seal. 9 cm (3 1/2 in).