To be among the best, however, meant these As Seen on TV products had to meet some strict criteria:
- Does the product do what it claims to do? Believe it or not, that's no easy feat.
- Is it reasonably priced, even when accounting for shipping and handling, which can sometimes be shockingly high?
- Does the product have legs? Did I keep loving it even after using it for awhile?
Drumroll please .....
Big Top Cupcake
$20 in stores
The Big Top Cupcake bakeware fashions a fabulous -- if a little small -- cake in the same time it takes to make a ho-hum dessert.
Just pour batter into the silicone molds, bake, and slip out two layers that, when put together, look like a giant cupcake. Ice, sprinkle, and you've got a party pleaser that kids of all ages will love.
Swivel Sweeper G2
$40 in stores
Some products just grow on you, and I've grown to love the Swivel Sweeper G2, which quickly picks up crumbs and leaves on carpets and floors.
Although the sweeper isn't a perfectionist, it is cordless, packs up to nothing, and cleans in a hurry. It stands in a corner of my family room, and I use it almost every day for a quick sweep.
NuWave Oven Pro
$130 in stores
I've been using the NuWave Oven Pro as my go-to oven for four months, and I still think it hangs the moon -- foodwise.
This little miracle sits on my countertop and cooks frozen food to perfection without defrosting. I've cooked a 13-pound, frozen turkey in the NuWave in less time than it takes to thaw the bird.
The NuWave is great for small kitchens or large boats that need a second -- or even a first -- oven.
Grill Daddy Pro
$18 in stores
When it comes to removing baked-on crud that covers my backyard grill, my heart belongs to the Grill Daddy, a super-hard scrub brush that steams away grease and grime.
Grill Daddy comes in several models, but my favorite is the 23-inch Grill Daddy Pro, with an extra grip and oversized brush head. The Pro drips water onto a hot grill, which steams away dirt. The super-thick stainless steel brush gets rid of remaining chunks and makes the grate shine.
$9.95 plus $6.95 shipping and handling
The Gutter Rake is a gutter cleaning tool that more than triples your reach, which cuts down on risky trips up and down a ladder.
The tool claims to widen your wingspan to 32 feet and make cleaning gutters 10 times faster. That's a bit of a stretch.
But the Gutter Rake does make a dangerous and dirty job safer and easier. And that's worth the price of admission.