Device: Holstein Housewares Arepa and Mini Empanada Maker. When I first got the “Arepa bug” in June of 2017, this is the Arepa maker I chose. I’ll show my hand right now by saying…”I haven’t regretted it”. But let’s go deeper into the background before I share my verdict. I’ll review other arepa makers as they become available.
What are Arepas and Empanadas? Well, Holstein Housewares says:
What is an Arepa?
A type of food made of ground maize dough or cooked flour prominent in the cuisine of Colombia and Venezuela. It can be filled with an endless amount of ingredients.
What is an Empanada?
A stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries in Latin America. It is also known as turnovers or pirogies.
But here the focus is on the arepa. Wikipedia says, “Arepa (Spanish pronunciation: [aˈɾepa]) is a type of food made of ground maize dough or cooked flour prominent in the cuisine of Colombia and Venezuela.
It is eaten daily in those countries and can be served with accompaniments such as cheese, cuajada (fermented milk) or avocado, or split to make sandwiches. Sizes, maize types, and added ingredients vary its preparation. Arepas can also be found in the Canary Islands.[better source needed] It is similar in shape to the Mexican gordita and the Salvadoran pupusa.”
Mr. GizmoCuisine.com says, “Think along the lines of an english muffin made from pre-cooked ground corn, which is then split and given a filling… and you are thinking right”.
The Dream: I love gadgets, and this is an odd/cool one. If I get one of these I’ll have a whole new world of food to learn about, discover and create. I’m in heaven… and the price isn’t that bad. And wait, you can use this to make other things?
The Hype: Holstein Housewares says…”Make 4 Empanadas or 2 Arepas in 7 Minutes – Mix and match with Holstein’s Arepa & Mini Empanada Maker. The multi-functioning maker makes four empanadas or two arepas. The included inserts give you the best of both worlds, allowing you to prepare a combination of healthy empanadas and arepas. In only minutes, your treats are ready to enjoy. It’s as easy as 1,2,3: simply roll your dough in a ball, place it in the center of the maker to bake your arepas. For your empanadas, just fill the dough with your favorite ingredients, place on the inserts and bake. Enjoy your recipes without using oil or the oven, saving time and money! Holstien’s Arepa & Mini Empanada Maker simplifies life in the kitchen and makes everyday cooking and entertaining easy.”
- “Mix and match a variety of dishes with this easy-to-use multi-maker
- Prepare delicious empanadas, areas, eggs, and more with interchangeable inserts
- Cooking and cleaning is easy with non-stick coated cooking surfaces
- See at a glance whether the maker is on or off with its handy indicator light
- With a safety lock built into the convenient carry handle and non-slip base, keep the maker securely closed and in place while cooking”
The Basic Recipe:
Basic Corn Arepa
- 2 cups maize flour
- 2 cups water
- Pinch of Salt
Mix your ingredients in a large bowl until dough is smooth.
Roll dough into balls.
Bake for 7-10 minutes.
I find if I use one cup of flour and one cup of water with a pinch of salt, I have just a touch more than I need to make two Arepas. Look for filling recipes below.
More recipes below.
The Reality/Verdict: Well, the price isn’t that bad and the Holstein mini maker works pretty well. I must admit, my wife isn’t a fan of arepas, so I’ve made them less frequently than I figured. But this device works fine. NO issues.
The upside is this device makes the arepa creation process pretty easy. And the filling? Oh, there are so many possibilities. Check out recipes below.
The downsides are few, though my experience and exposure to Arepas is very limited. It seems the traditional arepa looks most like the image at the top of this page. English muffin-esque. You can do that, but I’ve filled the dimples up so that they look more like the UFO from The Day the Earth Stood Still. They have a thin edge. I’ll keep learning and share more as I go on. Comment below if you know more about this.
Be aware that you must use PAN corn flour, Harina P.a.n. White Corn Meal 1 kg(35 oz/2 lb 3.3 oz) (3-pack). That’s the Amazon link. I just couldn’t find it locally in Seattle.
Bottom line: I like it.
Time saved: Oh… not much over doing it by hand in a pan… but it does simplify everything and hold your hand.
Cleanup: Just wipe it clean with a paper towel. Not bad at all!
Grade: A – It makes Mr. GizmoCuisine.com happy, but really, you could just take this recipe and form them by hand… then just fry them in a pan. Still… it does work pretty well… makes it VERY simple. It’s almost a set it and forget it sort of device… so…
Holstein Housewares is not the only company making these things. It’s just the one I own. As I try more of these I’ll do reviews here, too.
Online Recipes and Hacks:
This gizmo can make: View All
Pinterest Collection from Holstein
Recipes for this machine that are NOT Arepas.
Note: We do get a small commission through links. This does NOT impact our review, which will ALWAYS be honest.