18 Kitchen Gadgets That Are a Complete Waste of Money
Does your Sushi Bazooka, Bacon Master, or Robot Nutcracker bring you joy? Unlikely! Stave off kitchen gadget temptation, and clutter, as we unveil which tools lurking in your cabinet—from the everyday to the absurd—should never have been purchased in the first place.
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Hard-earned cash spent on this useless gadget may as well be tossed in the garbage along with your overripe avocado, says Alma Schneider of Take Back the Kitchen. Schneider purchased one herself based on the promise of perfect-looking slices and “it looked cool,” she says. “Then I realized I had a brain. If an avocado is ripe enough to be eaten, it can easily be scooped out with a spoon or butter knife.”
Step 1: Rifle through appliance drawer looking for gadget. Step 2: Rinse dust and bacteria-laden bits of garlic off press. Step 3: Peel garlic, place inside, and press. Step 4: Shift garlic several times inside press, press again. Step 5: Scrape garlic off press. Step 6: Become frustrated because lots of garlic is not pressed and/or stuck in the holes. Step 7: Spend five minutes attempting to (unsuccessfully) clean press. Step 8: Shove in back of drawer, with hearty disdain, where it takes space away from useful multi-purpose items like…a professional chef’s knife.
Schneider explains that the egg peeler arrived in her home as a presumed and well-intentioned hostess gift (in retrospect, she wonders if the giver had been joking). “It didn’t work at all,” she says, quickly banishing it to the back of the cabinet and eventual donation. “The best way to peel an egg is cooking it well and peeling with your hands.” Then, rinse off and plop the eggs in a nice serving bowl. Check out how to crack an egg the right way, too.
If an inanimate object could ever make you “peckish and miserable,” it’s the spiralizer, say the gadget pundits over at the Telegraph. This gadget-of-the-times (aka “because you are trying to imitate food Instagrammers”) is bulky, impossible to clean, and representative of your highly filtered reality that will never come to spiraled fruition. Just use your cheese grater to shred your zucchinis.
“Seriously, a banana slicer?” says Schneider. “Bananas are so soft you can practically cut them with air! Use a fork, a knife, or a spoon. Even dental floss!” However, the bottom line is: As with the banana slicer and other similar objects (the “Fastest Orange Peeler in the West” comes to mind), if you’re someone who makes fruit salad (um, with bananas) literally every morning, or egg salad for lunch on the reg, you may be a member of an elite team that truly needs a unique kitchen gadget. But for the rest of us, it’s best to spend your money on actual food. Don’t miss these weird kitchen gadgets you won’t believe are really a thing.
Electric can opener
What’s typically around 5″ x 6″ x 8.5″, has a blade that accumulates grime, and is only for the laziest of us with acres of countertop to spare? Correct, the electric can opener. While the first of its kind debuted in the 1930s, as reported on the interwebs, the modernized 1956 version—in “popular colors of the era,” e.g. Flamingo Pink, Avocado Green, and Aqua Blue—elevated it to kitchen gadget stardom. Be like liberated Betty Draper and toss this in the donation bin ASAP (and/or don’t buy one to begin with). And if you’re eating too much canned food, best use the extra muscle to open it, anyway.
Yes, this is only a $5 gadget. Fine. But why not spend that on five 5-for-$1 boxes of actual pasta instead of an item that will end up in the landfill (not to mention its shipping box?). Skip this step and err on the side of more—for delicious late-night leftovers or the kids’ lunch. If you must measure, Lifehacker.com suggests using a rinsed out soda bottle. Check out these other kitchen hacks you’ll wish you knew sooner.
Please don’t buy specialized gadgets for produce with an abbreviated in-season. Live like the Italians and buy fruit based on nature’s cycle—which, for strawberries, is about two to three months in late spring depending on where you live. Enough said. Yet, using this in season or not, it’s completely unnecessary (again, get a proper chef’s knife).
How often do you cook asparagus that you need one of these? This quirky gadget allows you to steam asparagus upright in a wire insert that sits within the pot. Save space and money by sticking to a sheet pan for some crispy roasted asparagus as a side to a healthy dinner.
This one serves as cool décor, but the amount of popcorn you would need to consume to make this gadget worth it is absurd. Opt for some raw kernels at the grocery store. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over simmering olive oil for the freshest-tasting popcorn. A little goes a long way with this one. See the mistakes that everyone makes when making popcorn.
Chances are you only know what a tuna press is if you already own one. For all the canned fish lovers, this can-shaped colander will perfectly drain all the liquid from the can. But the can is small enough that you can carefully drain the liquid right over the sink, or you can get a small strainer to aid the process.
While it’s a fun gadget, you will most likely only use this a couple of times before it begins to collect dust in your cabinet. Just use a frying pan and make sure to keep flipping so one side doesn’t burn.
It takes just as little effort to boil a pot of water for hard-boiled eggs as it does to pop them in an egg cooker. Keep the pot covered and allow the eggs to sit for a bit for the perfect hard-boiled egg.
Scissors are scissors. You can easily use a regular scissor to do the job of any specialized scissor. Save yourself the clutter of this clunky scissor and just purchase a regular one dedicated to the kitchen. Check out these brilliant kitchen shortcuts you’ll wish you knew sooner.
Bear paw meat shredders
These shredders are definitely not worth the clutter or the price if you only have pulled pork or chicken from the slow cooker every so often. It’s probably best to just use a nice set of forks that can live in your silverware drawer and be used for other meals.
Corn silk remover
You can easily repurpose a gadget that you already own such as a vegetable brush for getting rid of those annoying fibers on corn. A toothbrush will also work to get rid of stubborn hairs. See these other household items you had no idea were reusable.
Unless you are eating warm, pressed sandwiches every day of the week, this kitchen tool isn’t really worth it. You can get a similarly crispy sandwich in a hot skillet. Use a weighted object such as a pot or a large mug to weigh the sandwich down as it cooks.
Spaghetti twirling spoon
This tool will automatically twirl the noodles onto the fork for you. Save yourself the space, the money, and the teasing from roommates by just using a fork. Next, check out these kitchen gadgets you’ll wish you had sooner.
- The Telegraph: “Why a spiralizer will leave you peckish and miserable”
- ThoughtCo: “History of the Can and the Can Opener”
- Lifehacker: “Measure Perfect Spaghetti Portions with a Soda Bottle”