There are appliances and then there are appliances! Some do only what they were created for such as a donut maker while others are great uni-taskers, capable of completing the most unique food. My students wanted to see the capabilities of some uni-tasking appliances (as well as learn how to make omelets) and thus the omelet lab was created. And, this.lab.was.AWESOME!! I have never had so much positive feedback with a lab as I did this one. So, enjoy this fun lab and share your most unique recipe prepared on a panini grill in the comments section below.
- Play the “Whatz It?” game to introduce the idea that appliances can have have multiple purposes. Begin by showing them an unusual tool (I showed them a gadget called “meat feet” used to stabilize a roast) and ask students to name it and explain what it is used for. They are to think outside the box and invent something creative if they don’t know. Students then go around the room sharing their answers. I’ve had answers such as can openers, tools to hollow out cupcakes so they can be filled, a tool used to score meat in order to marinate it and even a creative idea that the tool somehow fit on the knuckles to be used for self-defense. The point behind the game is that just as they were creative and invented many uses for a tool they didn’t know, we can do the same by figuring out new, ingenious ways to use small appliances such as panini grills.
- an unusual kitchen gadget like “meat feet”
- panini grills
- omelet ingredients
- Show students a picture of the panini grill and ask them to identify it. Ask for a show of hands as to who has this appliance sitting at home and if so, what do they make with it. (Found in PPT below.)
- Discuss the characteristics of the panini grill, approximate cost and the pros and cons. (Found in PPT below.)
- I like to show them how many different foods can be prepared on the panini grill with this clip of Alton Brown and the Unitasking Panini Grill found here.
- After viewing, we discuss the “Create Your Own Omelet” lab and I have students sign up for the ingredients they’d like to include in their omelets so I can grocery shop. Their choices include: Canadian bacon, turkey sausage, cheese, spinach, mushrooms, onions, peppers, salsa and seasonings.
- Other than cooking the sausage ahead of time, students prep their toppings the day of the lab. Students individually beat their eggs, add toppings and cook on the panini grill one omelet at a time. The omelets literally take one-two minutes at the most to cook! Students roll their omelet off the grill and the next student puts theirs on to cook …that easy!
- Students were impressed not only at the speed at which their omelets cooked, but also at how wonderful they tasted. Many even commented that they were going to have to use this appliance more often!