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Ridgemonkey Sandwich Toaster XL

Published on 31 January 2022 at 12:04

I was looking for something versatile, something I could cook pizza in to satisfy the craving that one only gets when one cannot have something and I happened across the Ridgemonkey Sandwich Toaster XL. I already had the same branded kettle and I loved that so I took a punt on it over the cheaper copied versions available on that popular selling site on the interweb.

 

I ordered, as per usual, from Amazon because I wanted it yesterday and I could have it delivered to one of their hub lockers local to where I was at the time. My phone pinged and I immediately rushed to the locker and scanned my barcode. Parcel in hand I made my back to that days spot, a layby on the A507, and set about my plans for lunch.

 

The pan felt of good quality and the surface very slippery. It had that subtle satin grey finish and was adorned with two removable handles. The handles were removed by pressing a little button which I found out a few days later was a pretty poor design flaw. The two main cooking elements slotted together rather awkwardly but remained secure nonetheless. This was ideal as they could be used as 2 seperate frying pans should the need arise. 

 

Over the next few days, I used the pan for breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks in between. Whilst cooking a far cheese, ham, chilli and and onion toastie it came to the part where the pans design comes into its own. A simple lift, flip and replace motion should have seen the pan back on the gas stove where it started, albeit upside down. Instead it came flying off the handles and natural hit everything on the way to the floor. My toastie couldn't simply fall on the floor, could it. Nope it had to open up and land filling side down resulting in a proper mess. 

 

The buttons that secure the handles had both deconstructed to the point that they had become atoms once again, free to roam the planet in search of new life, perhaps as part of a toilet seat or maybe as an ingredient in BBQ sauce. However, this did not render them unusable as I still use them regularly but also just as regularly, burn myself. 

 

The toaster itself has lent itself to cook perfectly, through trial and error I may add, many food stuffs from toasties to chicken thighs, actual toast to pizza and oven chips to sausages. Would I buy again? No. "Why" i hear you ponder. Because Ridgemonkey's customer service is rubbish. I emailed them to tell them what had happened and their reply 2 weeks later was: We sell replacement handles for £6.99. But, unfortunately, they are out of stock. Now forgive me if I am wrong, but surely if a spare part you supply at a cost is out of stock then doesn't that tell you something is wrong? That screams "design flaw" to me. Sure I could have returned the whole thing back to Amazon for a refund but that process is arduous and by that point I was addicted to this wonderful way of cooking. So I decided to suck it up instead and now I bi-weekly and routinely burn myself or set fire to yet another tea towel as I marvel at this almost ingenious piece of kitchen equipment.

 

Maybe they have changed the design now, although I doubt it. If you are interested in buying one as they are very popular in the vanlife/camping/fishing world then the link is below.  On the right are some more \ridgemonkey products, as overall they are a good brand. I've not had any trouble with the kettle at all.

Pros

  • Super slick non stick surface
  • Easy to clean
  • Excellent heat distribution
  • Comes with a myriad of mini cooking tools
  • Packs away small inside the supplied neoprene bag
  • Can cook just about anything that fits inside

Cons

  • Poor customer service
  • Unbalanced when lid opened
  • Poorly designed handles
  • Base is also nonstick and slides off the gas ring
  • Awkward lid locking mechanism

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