We have had our Hostess SW12 Electric Plate Warmer now for around five months and in theat time we have not used it much mainly because it is so much hassle and it actually isn't really that good. They retail normally at about £37 I believe but I actaully managed to buy our on Ebay at 'BUY IT NOW' and thought I had got bargain - free delivery too, you see.
It looks modern and stylish and people have asked us what it is and been quite impressed when we have told them - but not so much once they have actually seen it in action. It has a small (too small, we think) power motor of only 300 watts and this means that it takes over a good half an hour to heat up before you can put your plates onto it. In fact, we have known it to take up to fifty minutes once before it was fully heated so this means if you are preparing food for family and guests you almost have to start this thing before your start to prepare the food!
The ON /OFFswitch is at the front of the appliance and it is easy enough to slot your plates in once it has decided to get hot enough but then you have to manually move them around becuase parts of the appliance seem to heat up quicker than others - we thought this was ridiculous to be honest and that it would be much easier just popping them into the oven to heat up beforehand, and at least that way the plates are heated evenly and we don't have to keep opening the oven door to move them about.
We think this was a waste of money and a bit of a gimmicky gadget. It looks good on your worksurface but that is about all I can say about its positive attributes.
Please do not waste your money.
This review is also published on Ciao under name of sorehead.
***Hostess SW12 Electric Plate Warmer***
This was somewhat of a spontaneous purchase by me and one that in hindsight, I maybe should not have done. The device can warm up to 12 plates of a good range of sizes (although not every shape is possible), the product also came with claims it could warm up food, although I never tried putting food on it. The product was of a modern and compact fold up design and cost me £27.99 on Amazon UK a few months ago.
The product looks modern and attractive out of the box. The product is available in chrome which is the one I own and features black supports to either side which slightly raise it from the gorund. There is a black box area to the front of the product which features an LED light and an On/Off switch. The top of the product is a lid, which has grooves in it so it is easily open. Once open, there is a foil component which can take up to 12 plates. The plates slot in fairly easily and are secured at the plates bottom rim. The folding nature of the product make it compact, and the product itself is only 9cm in height, has a width of about 30cm and a diameter of 25cm. Overall, I was very pleased with the modern appearance and design quality.
Ease of use
The product was ok to use I found, although a motorised plate rotation system would be better. You simply flick the switch so the product is on, wait for the LED light to come on and wait maybe 30-45 minutes so it is well heated. You then, making sure the lid is open, slot a plate in at the rim in a foil covered chrome slot. To ensure that your plates are warmed consistently and not just in one particular area, you have to manually move them around every so often. My plates did become warm and the product did work, but it should be noted manual work is needed to achieve this.
We've had the product a good few months now and used it a fair bit in that time. The chrome design is well made and sturdy, the lid lifts up frictionless and the product still offers good warming potential to plates. The LED at the front still works and I've noticed no problems of overheating or physical damage. Overall I found the Hostess plate warmer well made and durable.
The product was not cheap and was somewhat of a spontaneous buy by me. I bought the product on Amazon UK for £27.99 which included free super saver delivery. I would not have paid that amount of money for the product again as I believe It needs to be redesigned and further improved since it has its share of problems. If certain problems were addressed then I think that would be a fair price of the plate warmer, as it is a good idea in theory as some people (myself included) do not like eating from cold plates.
I noticed a fair amount of problems with the product and these are a costly mistake for Hostess in my opinion. The first problem is that plates of an unconventional size or shape I found did not slot very securely into the foil slots, if you have a standard plate then its fine. I think Hostess need to try design a slot which can take a wide variety of size plates and hold them securely. Another problem was that the device took about 30 to 45 minutes to warm up before you could actually place plates into the slots. I would not mind waiting 10 to 20 minutes, but 30 to 45 minutes was a little ridiculous and maybe Hostess could make the product more powerful so it warms up quicker. The final problem was that you slot each plate in at the rim, in a chrome slot, so obviously only that side will warm quickly. You then have to manually move the plate around every so often to ensure the entire plate is of a consistent temperature. I would like to see a motorised system where the plates are rotated around as the current manual process of doing it all by hand is tiresome considering the £27.99 price tag.
I think the idea of a plate warmer is a good one in theory, I've not saw a plate warmer like this before with its modern, folding, compact design. My plates were warm after a bit so the product did work but as the product was only 300 watt in power, I think this was too weak as it took often over 30 minutes to warm up before you can actually put plates on it. The requirement for manually rotating and moving the plates around to ensure consistent heating was annoying and the slots were not accommodating for every plate I owned - since they often varied in size and shape. I would not pay the £27.99 price tag again unless further improvements are made to the product, which are very much needed in my opinion. Overall, a good idea in theory but needs further refinement and development. Thanks for reading my review.
© Revo9 (2011)
*Note, I am both a member of Ciao and Dooyoo.co.uk under the same username of Revo9*
Short name: Hostess PW12