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Published May 29, 2013, 11:55 PM

Thursday review: Fry cutter useful tool but hard to use

FARGO – I’m a bit of a sucker for “as seen on TV” products that promise to make my life easier.

By: Tracy Frank, INFORUM

FARGO – I’m a bit of a sucker for “as seen on TV” products that promise to make my life easier.

So after I saw a commercial for Natural Cut for Perfect Fries one-step French fry cutter, I made a point to buy one the next time I passed Walgreens.

I make a lot of sweet potato fries and while delicious and healthy, they’re a big pain to cut.

I have bought frozen sweet potato fries, and while, much, much easier than making them myself, they also contain all kinds of extra ingredients like canola oil, modified food starch, rice flour, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, and xanthan gum.

Natural Cut for Perfect Fries “as seen on TV” one-step French fry cutter does make perfectly cut, even fries, but it can be difficult to use.

The box promises natural cut fries in seconds, but I think it may have taken me longer to use the device than to cut the sweet potatoes with a knife by hand.

All you have to do is cut the tip off of the potato, stick the potato onto the blades, and press down on the plastic cover. I imagine it works great for regular, mostly symmetrical, smaller potatoes. But it was so difficult for me to press down on the sweet potato that I actually had to stand on it and kind of jump a little. (Note: this NOT a recommended method for using the device.)

Also, if my potato was a little crooked it would become stuck and I’d have to jimmy it out of the blades.

The company’s website, perfectfries.com states you can make sweet potato fries, zucchini fries, butternut squash fries, eggplant fries, onion fritters, and cinnamon apple fries.

The commercial shows a man easily popping out perfectly cut fries (even sweet potato fries) without a problem. I’m guessing he’s a body builder. You can’t actually see how big his biceps are in the commercial.

Some online reviews recommend softening potatoes and sweet potatoes in the microwave or oven before slicing.

Clean-up is easy. The device can go right into the dishwasher.

It was $10 at Walgreens. If you buy it online or over the phone, it costs about $22 (including shipping and handling) for two devices, a recipe guide, and a Perfect Fries basket.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526