While I'd love to argue that the '80s and '90s were the golden age of TV sitcoms, it would be a disservice not to acknowledge that it was also the era when "As Seen on TV" infomercials truly revolutionized every aspect of our lives in every room of the house. Fixing things in the garage! Cleaning the bathroom! And perhaps most of all—mastering every task in the kitchen.

For me personally, I was just as happy to watch a fake audience scream "Wow!" and "Amazing!" than a fake audience groan when Urkel "did that."

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One infomercial that recently came to mind was for the Snakmaster.

I think this crossed my mind because summer vacation is kicking off for most kids, and that's when infomercials ruled our TV time. As much as I'd love to claim we were outdoors all day, soaking up the sun, the reality was we spent a good chunk of our days glued to the TV—especially during those summer months.

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It was the perfect combination of more free time and a sense of independence. That’s probably why the Snakmaster was my first—and only—infomercial purchase. Yes, I picked up the landline phone, dialed the number, and bought the Snakmaster using Cash on Delivery, or COD for short. Remember COD?

What Is a Snakmaster?

I am not exaggerating when I say that I used my newly acquired Snakmaster every single day for an entire summer in the '90s. It was the perfect food prep machine before we even knew what that was. Pretty much a waffle maker combined with a toaster, the Snakmaster allowed you to take two pieces of bread, some filling of some sort and BOOM you have a panini.

Was it a perfect panini? Of course not.

Snakmaster Pizza Paninis

Cathy in the classic 1990 infomercial made sure to tell us that there was more! Probably the most classic recipe (and the one that sold me) was the ability to make pizza pockets. Two pieces of bread and some Prego with a little cheese and you had pizza paninis.

Sure, you'd inevitably overfill it, then it would spill molten lava cheese and sauce all over the counter, but you made it yourself.

READ MORE: Things You'd See in a 1980s Garage

Snakmaster Apple Pie
VCRCooking via YouTube/Canva

Then there was the apple pie. I think they wanted to say "Make your own McDonald's apple pie!" but they couldn't really say that, so I filled in the blanks. Two pieces of bread, some canned apple pie filling and you had apple pie pockets. I remember my mom thinking I was nuts when I smuggled a can of apple pie filling into the house.

Snakmasters Still Have Some Caché

Apparently, the iconic Snackmaster infomercial didn't just impact me; even "foodfluencers" have taken notice. The highly popular Food-tuber Emmymade, boasting over 3 million subscribers, got her hands on a vintage 1990 Snackmaster and gave it a whirl. The verdict? She was impressed by how well this mighty machine held up.

Can You Still Buy a Snakmaster?

If you're in the market for a Snakmaster, you don't need to search eBay; they're readily available under various brands. This revolutionary invention changed the way I ate and may have even sparked my adventurous cooking spirit. Nowadays, it's mostly referred to as a "sandwich maker" and is as common as a toaster oven.

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