The name says it all: The Grease Bullet. This pack of pills in a silver bullet-shaped package cost us ten bucks at Walgreens.

We also have the perfect place to try it: The professional cooking class at The Culinary Arts Department at American River College.

When we asked students at this culinary college if it was more work to dirty up the pans or clean them up, the unanimous response was cleaning them up took more time. “Dirtying takes a matter of minutes,” says one student.

“If it works, we would love this,” says Roxanne O’Brien, one of the instructors. “We’d make everything sparkly in our kitchen.”

That’s a task with a plethora of pans and the grease to go with it, especially for the students, who Roxanne gives the scrubbing duties.

Following the bullet’s instructions, these soon-to-be chefs set us up with their sauté pans from the day. They filled up one sink with the hottest tap water, and readied themselves for the grease bullet. Simply add the tablets and let the pans sit for a half-hour, according to the package.

Nothing on the box says what the tablets are made of, although it did say to use gloves to handle it, and that it’s harmful to the eyes and skin.

We added one tablet for every gallon of water . . . three tablets in all, and sat by to wait for the tablets dissolve.

We had three plops, no fizz. In fact the Grease Bullet seemed rather slow to act, unlike it’s speedy name.

After ten minutes, we tried to speed up the process with a set of tongs, yet the tablets stubbornly refused to mix into solution. We decided to put the pans in anyway, and like the instructions said, wait for thirty minutes to let the grease busting begin.

Pictures on the box show a pan half sparkling clean, half dirty. On the back, however, was a disclaimer stating that some of the pictures had been dramatized. No indication as to which pictures the disclaimer referred.

So we added the pans, and again waited . . . and waited . . . and . . . waited.

After about eight minutes, our student helper was bored.

Soon after that, we found ourselves learning a few recipes and cooking as well, just to pass the time.

Finally, after thirty minutes, and losing our audience, the time came to check the pans. While we removed the pans form the water, we rinsed off the grease, yet it wasn’t sparkling as the “dramatized” picture claimed.

“They’re pretty lame, in my opinion,” said our helper. “I honestly don’t think it would have been any different if we’d soaked it in hot water.”

Roxanne O’Brien, our teacher, says she wouldn’t waste the money. “And I have my students clean the dishes.” Which is what we ended up doing, cleaning the pans with soap and water, and wondering whether or not this method was faster than a speeding bullet.


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