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Giving the gift of wasted space | Manolo for the Home

Stupid Kitchen Crap!

The Beard likes his counter space, and I like my cabinet space. Put us together, and you’re talking about a couple that doesn’t much care for pointless kitchen gadgets. What makes a kitchen gadget pointless? Think about gimmicky tools that only have one function and furthermore have a large countertop footprint. A truly beautiful kitchen is not cluttered up with silly gadgets or time saving devices that are nothing more than a waste of your time.

When the holidays roll around, thousands if not millions of people decide that there’s nothing their loved ones want more than the gadgets they saw in infomercials and on the discount shelves of their local supermarkets. Why this is, I cannot guess. The end result is that people who prefer that their kitchen tools perform multiple tasks have to grin and say things like, “Why, how thoughtful…I’m sure we’ll find somewhere to put it.”

Do yourself a favor and don’t saddle anyone on your holiday gift list with these:

Say goodby to your prep surfaces!

At my house, we make an awesome pizza in this pizza cooker we like to call “an oven.” Fans of dedicated pizza cookers say that they make a better pizza faster, but the only place I could put something this unwieldy happens to be exactly where The Beard rolls out his homemade dough. And I love homemade dough too much to make that sacrifice.

Suddenly cooking up some pasta is too tedious?

Um…should I be glad that there is now a product that makes combining boiling water and dry pasta even easier? Because I’m really not…unlike the actors on the infomercial, I’m able to handle uncooked pasta without spilling it everywhere.

Isn't this what the fridge is for?

I guess you could put this iced tea maker right next to your coffee maker. Then the people who like hot coffee could have it and the people who like iced tea could have it…but what about the people who like hot tea or iced coffee? I guess you’ll be needing some bigger counters!

Is this for real? Who needs this?

An automatic egg cooker? I can honestly say I’ve never had any problems cooking eggs, but for all I know I’m in the minority. Still, spend a little time experimenting in the kitchen and this product becomes utterly pointless.

I guess it looks kind of cool...

Okay, so this avocado slicer looks kind of cool and can be neatly stowed away in a drawer along with your mini butane torch, corn zipper, and biscuit cutter. But some of us already have an avocado slicer…I call mine The Beard.

Before you buy the latest gadget for your own kitchen or someone else’s, ask yourself, “Can it only make or do one thing?” The ask, “Can the same task be performed with something most people already own?” There are, for example, electric quesadilla makers and hot dog steamers out there when a quality pan can both make quesadillas and steam hot dogs.

What’s the most useless kitchen tool you’ve received?

18 Responses to “Stupid Kitchen Crap!”

  1. Sarah December 11, 2007 at 5:34 pm #

    An unbreakable cutting board.

    I’ve never broken a cutting board in my entire life! What are people doing to theirs that I don’t know about?!?

    It was also too small for most chopping I do and this plastic sort of material that was slippery and made an irritating “THWACK!” with every slice. Ugh.

  2. Never teh Bride December 11, 2007 at 10:19 pm #

    I don’t think I’ve ever broken a cutting board…the only thing I think would break any of mine (which are plain plastic and wood) would be dropping them from, oh, the roof of my house. Why would I do that?

  3. mkb December 12, 2007 at 10:03 am #

    I saw one of those egg cookers as a prize on the Price is Right. The contestant looked confused also.

  4. Toby Wollin December 17, 2007 at 9:47 am #

    For me, bread baking machines rate right up there with the pizza baker. My eldest daughter thinks it’s great, so she got it. Me, I’ll stick to my bread pans and that amazing new invention, the oven. I seem to be able to almost everything with it.

  5. Nariya December 17, 2007 at 12:17 pm #

    the chocolate-chipper fork is pretty good.

  6. Laura V December 17, 2007 at 1:33 pm #

    My mother has that iced-tea maker — but then, she bought it back when she had 7 kids at home, all of whom went through half-and-half (iced tea + lemonade) like it was going out of style. During the summer we made about 3 pitchers a day.

    When you get up to that rate of consumption, it’s worth it. But for anything less…why bother?

  7. Cathy December 17, 2007 at 2:08 pm #

    Holiday themed silicon head spatulas.

  8. mamacita December 17, 2007 at 6:11 pm #

    I love my iced tea maker. You can pry it from my cold, dead hands. I also LOVE the half-and-half (aka the Arnold Palmer). That gadget makes it better than I can, so it stays.

    Of course, I have use need for a coffee maker at all.

  9. Neller December 17, 2007 at 11:30 pm #

    Since I’ve yet to live in anything other than a rental, and I’m currently on a student budget (again), I’m very careful with how I spend my money & my kitchen space when contemplating new gadgets. In fact, I asked my mom for a food processor for Christmas, but reconsidered & ended up nixing it. I don’t have space for a full-blown 11 or 12 cup mixer, and one of the bitty choppers does something I can do with a decent knife. I don’t make gigantic batches of stuff very often, so I changed my food processor request to just a high-quality chef’s knife and a mortar & pestle set.

    Even if I HAD the counter space, I don’t like things “junking up” my counters. I really don’t have any gadgets I don’t use (except a Pampered Chef pie server…hmmm…) thanks to my mom’s practicality.

    Now, maybe once I have a house (and hopefully a VERY nice kitchen) and more than two people to cook for on a regular basis, I’ll consider more gadgets…

  10. sarah December 18, 2007 at 1:53 am #

    i thought the avocado slicer was completely ridiculous too, but my best friends got one as a wedding gift, and it is just so fun to use!!

  11. Tizzy December 19, 2007 at 11:50 am #

    I’ll admit to owning the pasta cooker. But– in my defense I bought and used it when I was living a dorm and there wasn’t a kitchen in the building. So… if you don’t have a kitchen within 100 yard of the building you live in then it’s justified.

    Toby Wollin, my guy’s mother feels the same way so she bequeathed it to us… we use it several times a week. We’d never have “homemade” bread otherwise. That being said said guy is very tall and we can keep it on top of the fridge when it’s not in use.

  12. Christina December 19, 2007 at 1:11 pm #

    Curly-fries maker. Worst part is, I asked for the thing.

  13. Annalucia December 19, 2007 at 5:11 pm #

    The Annalucia has the chocolate chipper, but she uses it mostly for chopping ice. Why would she do this, you ask? – she does it when someone in the house is ill and needs ice-chips to suck on. Anyone who has ever tried to chop ice with a big sharp bread knife will appreciate the chipper.

    As for the most useless kitchen gadget ever: at their wedding the Annalucia and the Tedesco received…something…rather like a waffle iron except that the indentations were round like doughnuts, not waffled. To t his day the Annalucia has no idea what it was supposed to be. She gave it away shortly thereafter and was troubled no longer.

  14. Amber December 20, 2007 at 7:05 am #

    Living in the South, one cannot exist without the iced tea maker, which sits proudly on my counter at all times. We go through gallons of sweet tea a week.

  15. JaneC December 21, 2007 at 10:44 am #

    My mortar and pestle set. I’m too lazy to grind my own spices, and I have no idea what else I could use it for. At least it doesn’t take up much room.