Anyone who often prepares food in the oven will know this: after preparing greasy dishes, the baking paper drips and it is difficult to dispose of it without the fat dripping everywhere. And: It is also not particularly sustainable to constantly dispose of the paper – which is neither allowed in the waste paper nor in the compost – and re-drape it on the baking tray. A more sustainable and practical option is permanent baking foil, which is usually made of silicone and can now be bought in almost every supermarket and drugstore. But if three founders have their way, it’s even better than a simple silicone baking mat.

KitchBo, the name of the start-up, has set itself the task of making preparing food in the oven as practical as possible. The trio is so enthusiastic about their idea that they appear on the Vox show “The Lions’ Den” to further promote the business idea.

Specifically, KitchBo consists of Karolin Djukic, Darko Djukic and Nikola Natterer from Wangen im Allgäu. Their innovation: a modular silicone baking mat. “When you prepare fish, meat or vegetables in the oven, the food swims in its own juices and never really gets crispy. You also have to turn the food regularly so that it is cooked on all sides,” explains the founding couple. In addition, there is usually not enough space on a baking tray for different foods. While he was playing with building blocks with his son, something literally clicked for Darko: he came up with the idea of ​​a baking mat with pyramid-shaped nubs so that the food doesn’t lie directly on the mat. This allows heat to circulate freely and the depressions in the mat absorb grease and other liquids without flooding or draining the mat.

The big highlight: Thanks to a click system, additional levels can be created individually, for example for skewers on which shrimp etc. can be stored. But KitchBo is not only used in the oven: According to the founders, the mat can also be used as a shelf for defrosting food, for hot cooking utensils or as a base for draining washed dishes. With the specially developed dishwashing sponge, the baking foil can be easily cleaned after use. The star tested whether the mat is really as practical as it is advertised.

The first impression of the starter set is good: The silicone baking mat looks high-quality and well thought out, and there are also two skewers that can be placed individually on the KitchBo permanent baking foil using four holders. They hold up well and it’s fun to click them into the knobs – just like with well-known building block systems. The supplied sponge looks robust and feels very firm. So far so good. Then get to the bacon – or the fish or the vegetables – and let’s get started with the preparation.

We used different foods for the test: including shrimp, which fit on the upper level, as well as classic oven-baked vegetables. It was immediately noticeable that the vegetables did not lie flat on the mat, but rather that only small areas were covered by the pyramid-shaped base. Despite its heavy weight, the skewer held up well and the whole thing went into the oven without any problems. After the normal cooking time, it became apparent that the oven vegetables were actually browned on all sides and the shrimp were cooked evenly. The excess fat collected in the grooves of the mat and the food was less soaked in oil than I’m used to. This promise has definitely been kept. The food does not stick to the surface and the mat does not slip on the tray. It also covers the entire tray so that nothing runs down during the baking process.

When baking cookies, however, it makes sense to turn the mat over so that the cookies stay in shape and are not deformed by the nubs. KitchBo can be less shiny with sweet dishes than with savory ones, but it can still be used and the food doesn’t stick to the surface even without greasing the surface. As a rule, long-life baking foil should be able to be used up to 1000 times.

But what about cleaning? At first it seems difficult because of the nubs. But: since the permanent baking foil is very flexible, it can be easily rinsed under water and the leftovers from the baking almost come off by themselves if you bend it a little. Everything else can actually be easily removed with the sponge, the edges of which fit exactly into the recesses of the mat. The gadget also cleans well in the dishwasher. This promise too: kept.

Overall, the KitchBo DHDL silicone baking mat definitely serves its purpose and is a practical gadget that enriches my kitchen accessories. The price-performance ratio is fair and appropriate compared to similar products. In addition to its function, fitting the mat with the click system is fun and it can be fitted individually – another advantage. The wide range of possible uses, especially draining freshly washed dishes, make the invention a valuable gadget in the kitchen and, in my opinion, a much better one than a simple, flat silicone baking foil.

The founders of KitchBo will be competing in “The Lions’ Den” in 2023 to expand their business. They offer ten percent of their company shares for an investment of 40,000 euros. You can see whether the trio gets a deal tonight from 8:15 p.m. on Vox.

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