By Mark Frauenfelder at 1:49 pm Wed, Dec 31, 2008
Despite the silly name the Wunder Boner looks like a useful gadget for people who like to catch and eat fish. Do you think it works as advertised?
mind you, with this gadget, you could have devertebrated that fish.
And that’s the longest word you can type with the left hand only!
I wrote up, with pictures, how to fillet a sunfish here:
My dad taught me this technique. He has successfully used it for 75 or so years.
My local fishmonger — Pat at the Saratoga farmer’s market for those in the bay area — taught me how to fillet a salmon. Instructions with photos here:
I’m so glad my 12-year old daughter was sitting with me when I clicked play.
I’m so glad she got to hear and see the Wunder Boner(tm) in action.
I should have known better.
Casisob1 – luckily, if a child knows all the meanings for the word “boner,” they wont be scarred or effected in any way by hearing the word other than perhaps being forced to stifle a giggle. If a child only knows the innocent meaning for the word there shouldn’t be a problem.
Wonder if I’m the only Boing Boing reader and Jimmy Kimmel watcher? He showed this a clip from this ad on his show about two weeks ago.
That guy in the commercial, is he Luke from the Dukes of Hazzard? At least he looks like him to me.
Frankly, that’s a clever marketing strategy. The name is easy to remember, probably won’t hurt sales, and at 5 dollars, they’ll probably get some sales as gag gifts.
I’m going to invent a vacuum that hollows out whole chickens and call it the Cock Sucker. I’ll make millions.
You still have to gut the fish, as well as removing the tail, fins, etc., so this has a limited usage for fish like trout that you cook whole. Also, as chefs know, the bones are what add flavor to many fish dishes, so the practicality looks extremely limited. Are ya really gonna partially freeze that fish before ya make yer shore lunch?
All in all, this looks like a pseudo-practical gag gift to give to Dad on Father’s Day. Anybody who really fishes will still prefer their fillet knife, imo.
Is there a device that will pulverize bone, making them edible? I imagine something like the ultrasonic machines used to crack kidney stones. You chuck a fish/chicken/whatever into this microwave sized device, turn it on, and 5 minutes later it’s done. When cooked, you could eat the whole thing, bone and all.
Needle nosed pliers .dae it yer sel.
Also, on the commercial itself at 50 seconds in, it says on the screen “Fish should be dead for 6 hours before deboning.” Huh?
Wouldn’t lye do a good job of removing the bones, without having to have any expertise? :)
either that or your usual enzymes secreted within your radula.
As far as names for fish cleaning gadgets go, I’d say it’s a step up from The Iron Chink
I wonder why “Wunder” is spelled with a “u”.
Maybe “Wonder Boner” had already been trademarked.
Aww Jesus, I remember when Nikolai Volkoff went up against The Iron Chink in a barbed-wire-and-gunpowder match in Moose Jaw in like ’89 or ’90.
Talk about your bitter blood.
The 800 number in the commercial goes to a fax machine or a modem.
Saying that it debones “trout, salmon and whitefish” is deliberately misleasing: any game fisherman, such as myself, knows that these are all salmonoids. They have the same basic body geometry, so it is a given that one that works for one will work for another.
If it demonstrated on, say, a trout, a haddock and a carp, then I would be impressed.
“Wonder Boner”! Weeeee!
#13: I guess you’d just have to make prospective buyers feel as if the users of said product would appear debone-aire
When did we start saying “debone” instead of “bone” for the act of removing bones from fish or fowl?
Is it because of puerile comments as evident here, or are some dirty-minded puritans offended by the word “bone?”
Or perhaps if I were a chef and asked one of my cooks to “bone” a chicken, that would somehow cause undue confusion.
@15, @44 — The first half of the commercial does indeed sound like Mike Rowe — he’s doing the voice over up to 1:12, then it switches over to a different announcer.
There is a knife used specifically for boning meat. It’s called a boner. Nothing is better than shopping at Williams Sonoma and asking the salesperson if they would show you their 6″ boners.
Better yet, is when it has been misplaced in a professional kitchen, it is not considered bad form to ask if anyone has seen your 6″ boner.
uh, i actually like having fish cooked whole, head, bones, skin, fins. the only thing that i like to have removed are the scales, so that the skin itself is edible, as well as the meat just adjacent to the skin. growing up in japan, we always broiled fish whole, and as a kid, i remember calling dibs on the grill side up eye, my grandfather would call dibs on the grill side down eye… by the time the meal was finished, literally only bones, fins and skull were left. at an early age japanese kids were taught to expertly pick fish bones out of their pices using chopsticks. this gadget would totally flop in southeast asia…
aside from the funny name and the gag-gift factor, this gadget is really worthless, and is marketed specifically for those that don’t eat very much.
the de-boning action of running the spine thru a ring and forcing the bones to follow the spine thru the ring actually looks like it’s mashing the flesh surrounding the bones. i’d hazzard a guess that the end result is a mostly-deboned fish in a fish skin sock in which the meat has been partially mangled.
#34 is correct, bones help to flavor the meat, boneless meat is just weird to me… as louis prima said “closer to the bone sweeter is the meat”
#41 Good point, I’ve just been using debone in the context of this thread, but now you mention it, I would say ‘bone’ in day to day life.
That said, ‘to bone’ also means ‘to stiffen a corset (e.g. by adding bones’, so maybe it’s to avoid confusion?
Personally, boning really stiffens my corset…
Why does is seem like I’m the only one who finds that really creepy looking??
My x s wlkng Wndr Bnr.
n lk t hr gly fc nd ll bns g lmp.
(insert beavis and butthead laugh at the gadget name)
Meh… with trout and salmon we’ve always cooked them bone-in and the spine easily peels away before serving. With this boner thingie it looks like the fish is more or less squished and crushed in the process… doesn’t seem like a great idea.
i had a wunder boner once… ended up having to go to the hospital to get it fixed… damn cilais..
The Wonder Boner!
My wife would like that!
Is that Mike Rowe doing the voiceover? It sure sounds like him at times.
Thanks for going there first, Xeni. The first time the guy said “wunder boner” I lost it. And again when the other guy said “I’ll bet the wife would like it”. Are you sure this is real?
verygneiss@#41: Did not mean to single you out.
I take your point. I suppose a doubly boned corset would be very uncomfortable, so “debone” would avoid ambiguity for say Dita Von Teese and female habituÃ©s of Renaissance fairs. But who knows? Perhaps the hourglass figure will make a comeback.
Oh my god! It’s a penis joke! How subtle!
so dave, where did you get the wunder boner?
It’s funny you should ask…
so dave, where did you get the wunder boner?
It’s funny you should ask…
golden. after seeing this a few times the hoots and laughs in the beginning just crack me up!
This is real, and it may still be sold – my dad got one in 2002. Thanks to the gd dmnd ntrnt linking to this video, though, there’s no way to find it for sale online.
#36 yup, it’s called lutefisk
…I can see some poor old schlub filing suit against the company for not working as advertised.
“Goddamn thing couldn’t get me a boner even if the damn thing put 4000 goddamn volts through it!”
I like the Edgar Winter cameo at the 59 sec mark. Truly a special advertisement all the way around.
From what I hear, it’s a real product, but I haven’t been able to find it at either Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s. Maybe it really didn’t work as advertised, though the idea seems plausible. You could probably make your own with a little steel and a tack welder.
YES. Found it for sale. $5.
Also, what might be their official site, with the instruction manual scanned.
No, but, seriously guys. Does anybody know if it works like it says, and whether there would be considerations about fish size or poking yourself on the fish-ribs? If it’s so great, why don’t you see these in use at fishmongers and on fishing boats? Does it pulverize the meat?
@Caffertyk: A review:
“The Wunder Boner is a series of metal rods that are screwed together and set in a plastic base. At the top of the rods is an eyelet; three sizes come with the device. The Wunder Boner is intended for trout, salmon and whitefish. Here is how it works: The fish should first be cleaned and partially frozen. It is then put head side down (of course, the head has to be removed first), the vertebrae pushed into the eyelet. When secure, the fish is pulled downward; the rib bones and backbone will be left on the eyelet, leaving you with a boneless fillet.
I have successfully removed brook, brown and rainbow trout, splake and salmon bones using the Wunder Boner.”
I wish I knew how to quit (boning) you.
It’s actually a Wunder DEboner, which presents an entirely different marketing challenge.
speaking of wince-worthy, I’m pretty sure they used similar crude surgical instruments since Roman times (without anesthetic) for various urinary/venereal conditions. mmmmmm…..
How’d they partially freeze that fish out on the lake?
It’s nothing compared to the Super Bass-o-matic ’76!
Sounds like Mike Rowe from dirty jobs is doing some extra voice over work…
because once you know how to use a knife, you don’t need anything else.
Video produced by Vin De Bona?
Brought to you by the same fine folks who gave us:
Fun for the whole family.
Does the de-boner work? Probably depends on the species of fish.
I just purchased a Wunder Boner and used it on a Rainbow Trout, or what was a Rainbow Trout after using it. I belive a regular claw hammar would work muck better in cleaning instead of the Wunder Boner!!!!
Agreed, #13. A good, razor sharp filleting knife and some practice will give you excellent results. You need to fillet some fish a little differently, ie walleye, or pickerel, have no ‘y’ bones and can be filleted fairly easily. Other fish like Northerns have ‘y’ bones, and take more practice.
IT IS VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO COMPLETELY DEBONE A FILLET UNLESS YOU ARE AN EXPERT. DO NOT TRUST GADGETY DEVICES THAT CLAIM THAT YOU CAN. It all depends on the skill of the person using the knife.
I’m almost 100% positive that Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs is narrating! He did commercials and voice overs for the Discovery Channel (ala Deadliest Catch) before he did D.J. and I’m pretty sure he was also an opera singer for the Baltimore Philharmonic…I love when a man with a deep voice continuously says “boner.” He should add a little vibrato next time.
The trademark and patent are for sale.
Just read the ‘review’… ‘fish should be partially FROZEN?’ Ugghhh…
I’ve probably said this 1000 times in the past year, but this is the greatest video I have seen on teh internets.
Right at this moment, truly, it is though. Really.
Did he have to say, “Just wait til you see what I’ve got” right before saying “Wunder Boner”?
your dad got a wunder boner in 2002 and he still has it!
It’s a perfect tie-in for their other product, the Master Baiter.
. . .
Now was this invented in 1994 or were they just showing “home footage?”
There IS a Master Baiter. It’s no product though: http://themasterbaiter.tripod.com/
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