10/25/05 | Hefty Serve N Store Party Plates
[ Currently Eating: Watery coffee ]
Recently, I got a whole load of these Hefty Serve ‘N Store Party Plates and Bowls sent to me for review. Before you say I’ve sold out, let me remind y’all that this is CHEAP Eats. And it doesn’t get much cheaper than FREE. So, I’m definitely not going to look any gift horses (or plates) in the mouth!
The idea for these plates and bowls is a great idea, yet it’s so simple that I can’t believe that anyone hasn’t thought about it until now. Rather than sell plates with covers, they’ve made it so each plate can function BOTH as a plate and a cover. This is accomplished by adding “latches” around the sides of the plate so that when they are pressed together they lock into place. Shades of Lego pieces! From the back of the package:
Only Hefty Serve ‘n Store™ plates and bowls have the unique Interlok™ feature. Just flip a matching plate or bowl over and press the rims together to create a quick covered container. With a multitude of uses, you can keep food fresh before parties. Store leftovers in a snap and create to-go plates for guests. Made from durable plastic, their strong, deep dish design resists spills and the handles make them easy to hold and carry.
For the past eight years or so, I’ve headed over to my parents and in-laws for dinner at least once or twice a week (they are both great cooks). And inevitably, there are leftovers galore to be taken home. That’s one of the prime directives for Cheap Eats: Always Accept Leftovers. Usually, we have to figure out how to pack these dishes to take home and up till now we usually got some paper plates and taped another one on the top as a lid, or covered the plate with saran wrap or foil. Spills were frequent with these makeshift covers, so I think that these Serve ‘N Store plates are going to come in pretty handy.
The plates and bowls themselves are the “Party” variety so they are this vibrant red color which I suspect will match your holiday decor nicely. The plastic is fairly hard and it looks like it’s washable to some extent which is good, because having to throw away the plates after using them would be a deal-breaker for me. Besides the dual use as a cover, what I liked about the plates were that they were actually deeper than most disposable plates. So if you put some gravy or cranberry sauce or creamed spinach in them (hello, Thanksgiving leftover fixins) they won’t slop out as much even when not covered.
Both the plates and bowls have these “handles” on the side which are nice for carrying. Although, this could possibly be a storage issue as they jut out about 1/2 inch on either side of the plate.
I had a whole battery of tests that I was going to subject these Hefty Serve N Store Plates to. One of them involved getting up on the roof and throwing sealed plates of Thousand Island dressing to the ground to see how they would stand up to being dropped.
But I nixed most of those ideas due to the mess they’d create. Anyhow, their main claim for these guys is for convenience and usability rather than durability (though I can’t count how many times I’ve seen those Hefty Trash Bag commercials that are supposed to be the most durable in the world). But anyway, for my first test I tried filling up a plate with dry rice, locking the top and holding it over the sink and shaking it for a half minute. Pretty good there. I mean, what idiot is going to purposely hold a filled plate like that for longer than a few seconds. I guess I might be surprised.
Next, I took that locked plate of rice and dropped it from about a height of about 3 feet. I figured this is about the distance most people would drop it from. I don’t have a high speed camera or a steady hand, so you’ll have to settle for some before and after shots.
Note the carefully placed newspaper, in case disaster should strike. Happy to report that I dropped it three times and in both cases the locking mechanism was pretty steady. I also tried dropping it directly on its end and the plate didn’t fare as well, with the rice literally exploding out of the container. But chances are you won’t drop the plate right on it’s end since if you’re holding it vertical like that, you’re already in trouble.
Here’s a picture of the plate on the ground after it was dropped, still sealed nicely. One thing to remember is to press down pretty hard along the latches of the plate to make sure ALL of them are closed. One open side will weaken the whole thing and lead to failure. Think of it like your Legos: you wouldn’t stick them together half-assed either right?
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