About the Sunbeam Gourmet Dog Treat Maker
The Sunbeam Gourmet Dog Treat Maker is an electrical appliance designed for making somewhat large, bone-shaped dog treats. The unit itself is relatively compact, easily fitting on the counter-top. The outside casing is made of a hard, shiny red plastic. At the front of the appliance, there is a handle with a simple safety latch to ensure the unit is closed. Inside is the heating unit, which consists of a non-stick metal cooking surface and four bone-shaped compartments. The design of the product somewhat resembles a waffle iron and basically operates in that manner.
To operate the Sunbeam Gourmet Dog Treat Maker, simply plug in the electrical cord. A red light on top of the appliance lights up to indicate the power is on and the unit is preheating. When the treat maker is ready to use, a green light turns on. The appliance remains on as long as it is plugged in. The green light will cycle on and off with use, but the red light remains on. There is no on/off switch. The unit is off when it is unplugged.
The Sunbeam Gourmet Dog Treat Maker comes with an instruction booklet that includes recipes. However, you can also create your own recipes. Just be sure to avoid foods that are toxic to dogs. In general, the batter used to make the dog treats should be of a somewhat thin, pourable consistency. Using a thicker batter will make it difficult to evenly fill the bone-shaped compartments. Most of the recipes consist of some type of flour and eggs. There are recipes that include bacon, applesauce, chicken broth, peanut butter and more. you can even have some fun and try creating your own recipe.
Once the batter has been mixed, it should be poured into the bone compartments. The lid should then be closed and the latch locked. The batter should be left to cook for 15 minutes. When done, the bones should easy slide out with the use of a utensil and placed on a rack to cool. The finished treats with have a cake-like consistency as apposed to the common crunchy dog biscuits found in stores. Once cooled, the bones can be frosted and decorated to add a gourmet flair. The instruction booklet includes two frosting recipes (one made with yogurt and the other with banana).
My Review of the Sunbeam Gourmet Dog Treat Maker
I found the Sunbeam Gourmet Dog Treat Maker extremely easy to set up and use. After wiping off the cooking surface with a damp cloth, I plugged it in to preheat. For my first attempt, I used one of the basic recipes in the instruction booklet called "Chicken Broth Biscuits." The ingredients were flour, baking powder, eggs, olive oil, applesauce and chicken broth. After pouring the batter in the bone-shaped compartments and baking for 15 minutes, the treats came out golden brown and the consistency of pound cake. I decided not to frost them. Regardless, my dog loved the bones, as did most of the canine patients at the veterinary clinic where I work. The treats stayed fresh for days sealed in a zipper-top plastic bag. Clean up of the treat maker was simple. Once the unit was cooled, all I had to do was wipe away the few crumbs with a damp cloth.
For my second attempt, I decide to use a modified version of my Canned Food Dog Treats recipe. To alter the consistency for the treat maker, I added chicken broth, an egg, some rice flour, and a pinch of baking powder. The batter was thicker than the previous recipe. I spooned the batter into the treat maker rather than pouring it. The treats still came out fine, though one side was not as "pretty" as it did not quite expand to take the shape of the bone tops. The final consistency was still cake-like, though a bit more dense than the chicken broth biscuits. I frosted these with the banana icing. There were a hit with my dog as well as those at the clinic.
I would like to continue experimenting with this treat maker, using ingredients like oatmeal, ground meat and fruit or vegetable pieces. I think the idea of decorating them is great, especially if you want to give the treats as gifts to other dog owners (for their dogs of course). Also, if you like the idea of throwing your dog a birthday party, these treats would be perfect.
If you decide to give the Sunbeam Gourmet Dog Treat Maker a try, you will find it easy to use, easy to clean, and a pretty good deal priced around $20.
- Easy to use
- Non-stick, fast clean up
- Only makes four treats at a time, so it can be time-consuming to make a lot of treats
- Only makes soft, cake-like treats (not crunchy ones)