Pros: Large capacity, plunger stirs up settled pulp, measurement markings
Cons: Difficult to use one-handed
Within my circle of friends it seems that someone is either always hosting a Pampered Chef party or going to one in which case you are always encouraged to bring a friend. Pampered Chef parties are fun and a nice way to get out of the house for a couple of hours...plus they always serve good food. From going to these many parties I have become quite familiar with the Pampered Chef line of products and have amassed quite a collection of kitchen gear. One product that I continually looked at but couldn't muster up the will to purchase was the Pampered Chef Family-Size Quick Stir Pitcher.
I loved the concept of the Quick Stir Pitcher and the fact that it came in two sizes was very appealing to me. The fact that it was $15.50 for the Family-Size pitcher was slightly unappealing to me. After all, it's a juice pitcher and you can pick Rubbermaid brand ones up for a few dollars at Wal-Mart. However, after hemming and hawing about it for several months I finally bought the Family-Size Quick Stir Pitcher.
As I stated, this pitcher comes in 2 sizes. The regular size is 2 quarts and the Family-Size is 4 quarts (1 gallon). I chose to get the Family-Size Pitcher because I wanted to be able to make a large quantity of juice and have it last without re-making juice on a almost daily basis.
The true attraction to this pitcher isn't actually the size, it's the fact that the pitcher has a plunger on it that allows you to stir the juice before serving. I loved this feature. My husband has a habit of making juice, leaving the lid off the pitcher, and sticking a long wooden spoon in the juice pitcher. He leaves the spoon in the pitcher in the refrigerator so he can stir the juice before he pours it. This grosses me out because I think that the lid needs to be on the pitcher. With the Pampered Chef Quick Stir Pitcher the "spoon" is built into the lid.
The Family-Size pitcher is oval shaped and is made of clear plastic. It has frosted squares creating a checkered pattern on about 3/4 of the pitcher. The lid is white plastic and has a built in white plastic plunger. The handle of the lid allows you to move the plunger up and down to stir your juice. This keeps all that pulp and other stuff from settling on the bottom of the pitcher. Because of the oval shape this pitcher is said to fit in the door of most refrigerators. It does not fit in my fridge door.
The clear plastic pitcher also has measurement markings so you can see how much juice you have made. There markings are easy to read and are on one side of the pitcher only. They are 1 Qt., 2 Qts (1/2 galon), 2 L, 3 Qts, 3 L, 4 Qts (1 gallon) and 4 L. The pitcher also has a very large pour spout which makes pouring easy.
The plastic lid with the attached plunger is the big selling point of this pitcher. It is easy to use and does an excellent job of stirring up the settled goodies in the juice. I also found that it made dissolving the frozen concentrate juice much easier than stirring with the spoon. I simply add the frozen concentrate, the water and then plunge the juice a few times and it is mixed perfectly. The lid also has a sliding lever on the top with three positions...open/close/strain.
The bottom part of the plunger consists of plastic squares which are separated a bit and tilted at an angle. The plunger works and is a fantastic feature to have in a pitcher.
I guess your big question is whether I truly like this pitcher after all my waiting and debating on whether or not I should purchase it. I would have to tell you that I do not. In fact, neither my husband nor I like this pitcher and it is one of only 2 items that I have ever returned to Pampered Chef.
While the plunger is a great feature I found that in the Family-Size pitcher we simply were not drinking the juice quick enough and by the time we got to the end of the juice the part of the plunger that was not immersed in juice was forming mold. I also found this to be true on the sides of the pitcher. This was a problem I had never experienced with other juice pitchers and I don't know if it is the clear plastic (which is a harder more acrylic type plastic) is what caused the problem.
I would take the juice out to pour the kids a glass and I would notice that it was murky. Upon closer inspection I would see several mold clusters forming up the side of the pitcher and sometimes on the plunger itself. It totally grossed me out and I would end up throwing away everything in the pitcher. I have never had this problem with other pitchers, even the gallon sized Rubbermaid pitcher that I have.
The other problem that I had with this pitcher was the shape. The oval design seems nice, especially if it does fit in your fridge door. However, it was very cumbersome to handle. It was not easy to pour the juice one handed with this pitcher even half full. I have a round Rubbermaid one gallon pitcher and I have no difficulty pouring it one handed.
The idea behind the Family-Size Quick Stir Pitcher is fantastic and I was so disappointed that mine was not so easy to use and that I had the mold issues. I returned my pitcher and replaced it with a different Pampered Chef Product. My consultant told me she had never heard of anyone having the problems that I had and I can't say it is any fault of the pitcher, but since I haven't had problems with other brands I decided to stick with Rubbermaid.
The pitcher is easy to clean. The pitcher itself can be washed with warm soapy water or placed in the dishwasher (it takes up a lot of room in there). The lid can be placed on the top rack of the dishwasher or handwashed with warm soapy water.
Because the plastic is a hard, clear plastic it can break if dropped. Not a problem with Rubbermaid or Tupperware, but definitely a problem with this.
I do not recommend the Pampered Chef Family-Size Quick Stir Pitcher because I felt it was just too uncomfortable and uneasy to pour. For the price I paid it just wasn't what I was expecting. I would recommend the smaller Quick Stir Pitcher which Pampered Chef sells for $12.50 if you really want one of these. The mold issues I experienced were the reason that I did not trade my large pitcher for the smaller one.
The Pampered Chef Family-Size Quick Stir Pitcher (or the smaller Quick Stir Pitcher) can only be purchased through a Pampered Chef Consultant. You can find one at www.pamperedchef.com . It sells for $15.50 and comes with a 1 year warranty.