HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >


As seen on late-night TV --- Robo stir

Wow. Robostir... when you're just too busy or lazy to stir your own food. I thought it was a joke commercial.

anyone want to admit to trying this out?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What a hoot, Anthony Sullivan carrying on the torch for Billy Mays.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ChinoWayne

      well they did work together..... there is a tv series featuring them working together that ended halfway thru when mys od-ed (the day after he dressed up like a knight and left the set like 20 times to go to the bathroom as far as i remember)

    2. must say we all giggled when we saw this, so much energy to stir with a spoon??

      1. OK. I guess I'm the donkey because if I could pick up just one of them at a local store I'd pop the $5 to see if I could walk away from a risotto. And I wouldn't mind it watching over a gravy on Thanksgiving when I'm doing 4 things at once at the end.

        2 Replies
        1. re: rainey

          Risotto is exactly what I thought of first! If I made risotto more frequently than I do I would grab one. Gravy at TG is also a great idea, rainey!

          I probably wouldn't buy one of these due to storage space issues, but I think there are more useless products out there.

          1. re: woodleyparkhound

            >>>>If I made risotto more frequently than I do I would grab one.<<<<

            If you grab one, maybe you'll make risotto more frequently than you do.

        2. I wouldn't use it cause I kinda like stirring, but I'm sure there's a bunch of people out there that would love it, plus it actually looks like it works.

          1. My first thought -- if it truly works, this would be an absolute GOD-SEND for making roux. And then to a lesser degree risotto.

            That being said, I can't imagine tearing myself away from the 1.5 hour stirring process ... it's almost zen for me at this point.

            4 Replies
            1. re: a213b

              Roux was my first thought too.

              I'd be interested but would only buy 1 at $5 and only at a local flea market or something.


              1. re: a213b

                I saw the commercial and thought that it didn't look strong enough for risotto but if heating milk for yogurt for instance it could keep the milk for scorching. Still not enough incentive for me to consider buying something off a tv commercial. The few items I have purchased that way were way crappier than expected. Never again.

                1. re: scubadoo97

                  That would actually be great for hot chocolate. I hate standing over the milk and chocolate and stirring so it doesn't scorch. Or, heating milk for creme fraiche. Hmmm, if they had a built in thermometer that would beep, it could come in handy! I wouldn't buy from a TV infomercial either, though.

                2. re: a213b

                  Seriously doubt those little arms can stir anything heavy.

                3. Sounds terrific to me! Of course it is most likely another piece of junk that they promote on TV. Curious if anyone ordered one. Unlike some of the other responses, I would gladly accept another pair of hands in the kitchen!

                  1. Looks like an early Roomba prototype.

                    1. love to hear if anyone has tried on risotto, bechamel, roux or my new favorite soft scrmbled eggs.

                      1. I don't have a Robo Stir, but I do have a Stir-Chef, which I like much better. It's about the same "core" dimensions, except there are three spring loaded arms that hook over the side of a pot, then it comes with two different sized paddles that have wings at the ends to adjust (within a half inch or so) to various sized pans. The paddles rotate continuously, stirring the contents of the pan. I LOVE mine and am distressedd they no longer make them! I bought it because I have arthritis in my hands, and it allows me to make things whenever I want to make them instead of having to wait until my housekeeper is here to stir them for me. But even if I didn't have the arthritis problem (don't I wish!) I wouldn't want to be without it. It provides freedom to make more complicated meals that fully staffed restaurants can turn out with ease but that are a real timing challenge for a one-cook home kitchen. I can cook several dishes at the same time, even when one of them requires constant uninterrupted stirring. That's pretty damned handy! I'm not convinced the Robo Stir is as good, but it's a lot cheaper so I just might order it and hope for the best!

                        Post Script: Jay, I have used my Stir Chef to make risotto, bechamel and roux, but haven't tried it for scrambled eggs. I don't see why it wouldn't work just fine. It just never occurred to me. But then I usually make omelettes. Can't recall the last time I made scrambled eggs.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Caroline1

                          Amazon says "Currently unavailable.
                          We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock."

                          1. re: araknd

                            Yes. It's been "unavailable" for some time, which is really a pity, because it does an excellent job. I've had mine for three or four years -- maybe five? -- and never had a problem with it. I see there is one available on eBay for forty bucks. I don't think I paid that much, but having used it, if I needed another, I'd pay that price. There is one similar on Amazon, but the stirring paddles don't look as though they are as efficient or versatile. Anyway, the manufacturer is missing a LOT of business judging from the number of websites still advertising it but unable to fill orders. Pity.

                            1. re: Caroline1

                              I think that they went out of business.

                              1. re: Mother of four

                                I'm sure, but they certainly have a marketable patent! Or maybe they don't like money? '-)

                                1. re: Caroline1

                                  Or maybe it just didn't sell. I honestly don't know anyone that owns one.

                            2. re: araknd

                              I ordered it, still unavailable after 3 wk

                          2. Even though the animation shows it going all AROUND the pan, it doesn't seem to in the video. Hmm.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: pdxgastro

                              someone has to buy it to find out! In the name of Chow science!

                              1. re: Firegoat

                                MY bf's parents have one (they are very much into gadgets). It seems to vibrate the liquid more than stir. They used it Xmas to stir the gravy while they were busy getting everything else ready to serve. It was the first time I had lumpy gravy there. I don't know if it was because the Robo Stir couldn't move fast enough to get around the whole pan, or if it was because they walked away and left it alone.

                                So maybe in a small pan, or in something that doesn't need to be watched as closely as gravy it might work better.

                                1. re: viperlush

                                  Actually, if you whisk in the flour or flour and water mixture and make sure it's thoroughly incorporated before letting a little pot-sized roomba take over I don't see how it could lump up.

                                  1. re: rainey

                                    But aren't you suppose to just plop it in the pot and let it do the work? Isn't that how it is advertised? You are right, they probably didn't take the time to get out a whisk and fully incorporate the flour slurry. I think that is part of the problem with it and many other As Seen on TV products. The ads say it can do everything and it is so simple to use the product, that you miss necessary steps.

                                    I don't remember what else they have used it in (soup?), but they seem to like it. But they also think that pepper mills need to be battery operated with mini spot lights, thought that a gas powered corkscrew was a good idea, and that a battery operated cocktail shaker is necessary.

                                  2. re: viperlush

                                    Look. Your boyfriend's parents just do not know how to use. To effecively use the Robo-stir, you need to stir with it. You don't just walk away. You hold on to Robtostir and then stir with it using your hand.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      So it could replace my robo-whisk and robo-spoon.

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        According to theinstructional video, they were using it properly. You do just plop it in, walk away, and it stirs for you. It's like having a third hand in the kitchen!


                                        For only $10.99 (for two!) it does look appealing. Damn those infomercials.

                                2. I saw it too! So surprised they didn't toss in a set of ginsu knives if you "act now." There is N O way that thing is gonna work in something as thick as a risotto or roux, however

                                  1. I'm with the crowd who would love to see how well it works and if it did, I'd get one--risotto, roux/ bechamel, polenta, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, chocolate, butter, paint (probably not use the same one as for cooking;-)). It's not about being lazy but about being able to multitask.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: chowser

                                      Polenta was what I thought of. After reading everyone's else's list (risotto! Of course!) I feel rather unimaginative. lol

                                    2. After making my first roux I invented this little gadget ony to discover it had already been made. As Caroline said, why stand a stir a roux when you can be prepping other things? I have seen Carolines and this one via the googles and thought Caroline's looks the most likely to work, and I mean work well. I wouldn't buy this one even to try it.


                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                        Or you could just make a roux in the microwave while you prep other things. ;-) And don't shoot the messenger. I didn't invent microwaves. -Kevin

                                        1. re: UptownKevin

                                          Never heard of this. Google has many Mwave recipes. INteresting. Have you tried this? And what did you think? And if you liked it how am I to judge whether you have good taste? Could you please pronounce New Orleans?


                                          1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                            Done it several times. Works great.

                                            You'll just have to trust me on this one. Or you can spend the 45 cents on some flour and oil and try it yourself. Choice is yours.

                                            Isn't it pronounced New Or-Leens? Kidding. My name is UptownKevin. Where do you think I am from?

                                      2. This is awesome. This looks like good for certain things like roux, as others have pointed out. The question is if it is powerful enough for a roux and consistent enough -- it cannot miss a spot for a roux. In the video, it does not seem to move around the whole pot fast enough.

                                        It is probably useless for other things. First, low viscosity liquid will stir itself while being cooked -- the convection current. Second, having to keep the pot open all the time is not going to be ideal.

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                          C'mon, it's a total piece of TV sucker bait. The biggest distraction in the kitchen for anyone buying this piece of @#&? would be Dr. Phil or Celebrity Rehab on TV in the living room.

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            If I could replace the bottoms with flat spatulas, maybe I could just put a dollop of frosting on a cake and it could automatically frost it for me. That would be awesome.:-)

                                            1. re: chowser

                                              Ha ha ha. I didn't think of it. That is a cute idea. Although I think this will be a neat toy for a cat....Maybe we can put it above a baby bed and use it as a hanging mobile:


                                              1. re: chowser

                                                I just put my cakes on a turn table, hold a spatula over them and give it a spin! Works great and.... Look, Ma, no batteries! '-)

                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                  A turn table for cake decorating has been on my list forever. It seems like a unitasker that takes up space so it keeps getting put off.

                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                    Off and on up here Costco has a lazy susan/appetizer dish that I wanna get. 4 removable side compartments and a removable centre bowl. Take 'em all away and you have about a 10" diameter turntable.

                                                    Not exactly the same but this is sorta the idea. Not a unitasker.


                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                      IKEA has a cheapie turn table/lazy susan thingie. Got one a couple years back for the kid's zoetrope project(don't ask)and actually found some use for it later.

                                                    2. re: chowser

                                                      Actually, my turntable started life as a lazy suzan with green and chartreuse dishes that sat on it to hold olives and pickles and such. That was waaaaaaaaaay back in the 1950s. Through the years the ceramics got broken so now the poor thing is a uni-tasker. But it didn't start life that way! It turns smooth as silk on ball bearings and does a wonderful job with up to 12" diameter layer cakes. Whoever gave it to me as a wedding present in 1955 did an excellent job! '-)

                                              2. Interestingly, after this discussion began, this pops up on CNET reviews -- http://www.cnet.com/8301-13553_1-2002...

                                                Another style automatic stirrer.

                                                $59.95 at Amazon.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: araknd

                                                  I saw that. Very similar to my StirChef, but I think mine was at least $20.00 cheaper.

                                                  1. re: araknd

                                                    This looks very sturdy. I may have just found the DH's Valentine's Day gift.

                                                  2. I ordered a couple through robostir.com almost 3 wk ago--checked status still says "back order-normally shipped 4-6 wk). Several people posted on blogs that it's a scam--I don't know yet. There is no charge posted to my credit card yet but its website doesn't look trustworthy.

                                                    9 Replies
                                                        1. re: Mother of four

                                                          Horrible experience....I placed an order online (roborstir.com) right before Christmas, got back order for 4-6 wk. Last week I got email confirmation of shipment (2 months waiting) but Robostir overcharged me for shipping & handling of free strainers $27.96 ( 4 x $6.99)--this shipping &handling charge of free strainers was not on online invoice confirmation. Package is in transit, did not know what do I get yet but it's so awful. There is no email contact for customer service. Beware!! I gotta fight with them later!!

                                                          1. re: tai_sunny

                                                            I hope you put it on a credit card. Easy to fight it that way. I am definitely not buying one, actually never had any intention of buying one.

                                                        2. re: tai_sunny

                                                          Some niche items can take forever on back order. It took nearly a year to get my dolma roller. You know, it automatically rolls stuffed grape leaves with the turn of a crank instead of all that hand rolling? Anyway, keep the faith. Especially if it's manufactured in another country and the place you're buying it from is the importer.

                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                            So.... how did the dolma roller work out? Curious minds want to know

                                                            1. re: Firegoat

                                                              LOL! I just knew someone would ask! I haven't opened the box yet. <sigh> The loooooong wait seems to have taken the wind from my sails. That, and I keep forgetting to pick up a jar of grape leaves. Two things on my fancy-schmancy shopping list (grape leaves and snails) and that shelf is still bare! Maybe I'll wait for spring and beg, borrow or steal some fresh grape leaves. They're awesome!

                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                I remember seeing the video of that at work, looked like fun but I prefer the fatter style so I'm still waiting to but one that does them,

                                                            2. re: Caroline1

                                                              Somehow we don't have a dolma roller. How'd I miss that one! Your kitchen toy collection must be awesome!

                                                          2. On America's Test Kitchen Radio yesterday, they gave a negative review to something they called the "Stirr" http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2008/11.... It appears to be the same thing. ATKR said it stirs a bechamel or custard only until the thickening starts, at which point it gets stuck.

                                                            1. Did anyone ever try this gadget out?
                                                              I'd love to know if it could help me with risotto stirring while I do other things in the kitchen.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: ursy_ten

                                                                There are several replies upthread reporting actual user experience.

                                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                                  Oh yes, I did read them. Well, it. The only actual user experience for the robo stir that I saw was viperlush's bf's parents. Others were talking about the stir chef, which is no longer available, and speculating on whether the robo stir would be strong enough to stir thicker things.

                                                                  I just wondered if anyone had anything more detailed to add since often YMMV on these things, and a little time had elapsed.

                                                                  1. re: ursy_ten

                                                                    Thank you all for the reports and comments. Mr. Shallots, who seldom cooks, has been enchanted with the ads.
                                                                    Although it might make a cat toy, so will a large grasshopper in a zip lock bag.

                                                                    1. re: shallots

                                                                      It WOULD be a feline favorite, though judging by Youtubes' many videos, not as much as the Roomba vacuums and moppers.

                                                              2. Gotta chime in about roux: You don't actually need to stir it forever. Just crank up the heat REALLY HIGH and stir the crap out of it for only a few minutes! So much easier!

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: lessleyellen

                                                                  I don't know... I must have bad lump karma or something. I find the necessity for stirring comes in when you're gradually adding the milk. I've tried adding the milk all at once and it was disastrous!

                                                                2. My spouse, while making risotto one night says to me, "I'm going to invent an automatic stirring machine. I'm going to call it 'Ris-AUTO.' It will have rotating paddles and maybe a little add-on hopper on top that you load your warm stock into, and it will open a little valve every 5 minutes to drop some stock into the pan." So he does about 5 seconds of internet research and I hear, "Damn! Someone's invtented a risotto helper already, it's called Robo Stir! Grrr!"
                                                                  I still like the name, Ris-auto. Clever guy, my Hubster. Maybe he can still give it a shot... Robo Stir doesn't have the stock hopper attachment.

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: CapreseStacy

                                                                    I think it's a brilliant idea!

                                                                    Apart from the hopper idea, which I think would be great, maybe he could invent something that's a bit sturdier than the robo-stir, because don't think those skinny little robo-stir legs would be able to go through something that's as thick as risotto.

                                                                    1. re: CapreseStacy

                                                                      I love it. I'm wondering if they can repurpose the design of a bread maker, where you put in rice, wine, stock, onions (and whatever else you want to saute) into different containers and it adds it as needed. I wonder if I can make my bread machine do that and add the ingredients by myself. That would be the ultimate in laziness.

                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                        we just need robots that do everything for us while we sit on the couch and watch TV!

                                                                        1. re: smartie

                                                                          That's what my husband is for.;-)

                                                                    2. I have to see this infomercial.