Review: Mainstays $9 portable electric burner


Originally published at:


I was hoping for a twitter insult machine for an on-the-go lifestyle.

But that is pretty cool, too.



This seems appropriate


Now I feel bad that I haven’t been buying more Lifetime Subscriptions at the Boing Boing Store, if @beschizza is reduced to cooking on $9 Walmart electroshock devices.



I guess you didn’t read the reviews on the Walmart site, then, @beschizza?

MomOf2inABQ says: “Can’t boil water……It was only $10, so not too shocked”

:thinking: Sounds like you can get more electrified if you pay more :grinning:


My coworker uses this fine product to boil the water for his four-ounce Greek coffee every afternoon. Works great!


I used one of these a few years ago when I built a smoker and it worked pretty well. The focus wasn’t to actually make the wood chips burn by themselves, but rather to maintain a relatively constant temperature. It worked pretty well, but I wouldn’t want to have to rely on it as my only source for making dinner …


I’m sure you can hack a cattle prod into becoming a hot-dog roasting stick.


Honestly it’s probably fine so long as you’re only boiling a small pot and the pot has a rubber handle and you plugged it into a ground-fault interrupting power outlet and you are Raiden God of Storms.


I have read them now!


Seriously though, I remember reading somewhere [where? I have no idea] that the product you buy at Walmart is not necessarily the same as the “same” product from the same manufacturer that you can buy somewhere else.

The gist of it was that Walmart is so big that they can force the manufacturers to accept a much lower price for each item, thus forcing manufacturers to shave off quality if they are to make any profit at all.

As I recall it, the article I read indicated that if Walmart is interested in selling a product, it puts the manufacturer between a rock and a hard place—if the manufacturer doesn’t meet the price that Walmart wants to pay them, they won’t get the contract and Walmart will take the business to their competition. But if the manufacturer does meet the price that Walmart wants to pay, they must cut corners to do so, and the reputation of the manufacturer will suffer.


I don’t think you can possibly imagine how gratified I am that you didn’t say “electrocuted”. Perhaps English is not a dead language, after all!


If you haven’t thrown it away already, can you see if it’s UL certified? I’ve gotten out of the habit of looking for that, since most electrical equipment these days is.


I recall reading about Walmart and Levi’s. Basically Levi’s couldn’t sell its regular jeans to Walmart because they couldn’t actually make the clothes cheap enough to meet Walmart’s price. Ended up making a much cheaper line of jeans just for Walmart.


Go to a thrift store and pick up a secondhand hot pot. If you get the right variety, it’s great for boiling tea and coffee water, cooking hard boiled eggs and reheating soup, and will probably cost much less than a non-UL compliant Wally World knockoff.

At one time, we lived in a converted house split up into several apartments which was inadequately grounded. You could get a shock from touching the shower nozzle the wrong way, and from a metal handled pot on a stove burner. Scary times.



At first I thought you were saying “Alternately, here’s an urn for your electrified ashes.”


I recommend checking out youtube channel bigclivedotcom, he demos all kinds of seriously dangerous stuff you can get cheap from ebay. Including a baby formula heater that is nothing more than a ‘stinger’ like you’d find in any decent prison cell–the mains wired directly to resistive element placed right in the liquid. That’s not dangerous is it?


It’s called the Walmart Effect. There was a book (and movie) about it a few years ago.

Best story in there IMHO is the one about the president of Snapper mowers meeting with some SVP of purchasing in Bentonville and having to sit on mismatched plastic lawn chairs in the guy’s office as they’re too cheap to buy real furniture.