Buyers Beware: Useless Kitchen Gadgets

>> Thursday, February 4, 2010

I'd like to take a moment to continue our discussion about kitchen essentials. Of course, we all need to be practical and use what we have -- so I don't suggest you go out and buy tons of new stuff just to accommodate your cooking and baking. (That's what bridal showers, birthdays, and other holidays are for!) Anyway, you can stock your kitchen with everything you need to eat healthy and well with things from the Dollar Store AND higher-end joints. But the best approach to take when shopping is to take time to pick out the gadgets and useless appliances from the basics -- the tried-and-true things that make our meals masterpieces.

OK. And these are real-life examples. Things that we -- the (never home)makers -- own, use (at least on occasion), and can TELL you are so very unnecessary. (PS: All photos come from

SILLY GADGET: Avocado Slicer

You may have noticed during our detox days that we are in love with the slimy green fruit so much that we were consuming it daily. And because we love avocados, someone gave us an avocado slicer. Seems to make sense. Yes. It's only $6 . . . But, really? That's a thing? Use that money to buy more avocados! USE INSTEAD: A butter knife and spoon. You have many of them. Right there in the drawer next to the hot-shot slicer -- just waiting to be put to use.


Pressed sandwiches are so much fun. And it seems like it's easy enough to pull out the corded contraption whenever we get the urge for some grilled PB and J . . . but the thing is $40. USE INSTEAD: Your stove top. And a nice fry pan. That stove is what you paid in excess of $1,000 for. So, again, use it.

SILLY GADGET: Garlic (etc.) Chopper

A tedious task most times, chopping garlic by hand can indeed be a pain. But now they make gizmos -- for $15 -- to not only peel, but also chop. But -- and Stephen is the one who contributed this entry -- have you ever tried to CLEAN one of those things if you don't have a dishwasher? What a pain! USE INSTEAD: A plain old knife. You'll be able to transfer those skills to other areas in the kitchen . . . and you won't be picking stiff, stale garlic off the chopper for the rest of your life.


Bread baking is a passion. Indeed, all that kneading and rising isn't for the impatient baker. So, a bread maker might seem like the perfect match for everyone who's in between those two extremes. But lugging that huge machine out from its hiding place in our kitchen cabinets is such a hassle. Quite honestly, no bread that's ever been baked in it has been particularly fantastic. Mediocre at best, really. USE INSTEAD: Your hands. Bake bread from scratch and take the time it takes to make it yourself. Not only will it taste better, but you'll feel more satisfied having created it yourself.  Bread makers cost on average $150. Making it by hand? Priceless.

SILLY GADGET: Electric Can Opener

Some cans are bigger than others. That's what she said. Some can openers make you work harder than others. But is it so difficult to open a can by hand? And the one above will set you back $20. USE INSTEAD: A manual one.You can get one for half the price of its electric counterpart.


Sorry mom and dad! We do indeed use ours that you gave us a couple years ago. But, really. What does this thing DO that a regular blender can't? I don't get it. USE INSTEAD: A blender. Seriously, people. Why spend $200 on the appliance you see above when a regular blender costs like $35?

Overall, these items represent $431 of useless kitchen nonsense. Save your money for something splurge-worthy (like a Le Creuset dutch oven)! However, maybe you disagree with what we deem useless. Have anything to add to this list? Leave a comment or email us at!

And don't forget to check out this month's BLOG LOVE FEST. You have until February 14th to add yours to the list. We've already got some great reads on there -- so you're in good company!

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