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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Truly Useless Kitchen Gadgets For The Chef Who Has Everything

From time to time I surf around for different kitchen tools and gadgets. Actually, I am very wary with new gadgets, because in the end result they simply take up more and more room in the kitchen until you have nightmares about the "Attack of the Kitchen Gadgets".

Over time I have kept some real gems, on what I consider to be, truly useless kitchen gadgets. Those things which you spend money on, have no clue what to do with them, and could not give them away if you begged on your knees. The following list comes from all over and the prices are fairly current. If you have any of these gadgets in your kitchen... just run and hide them!

So get ready folks. Rip out those Credit Cards or run to your nearest ATM. These are gadgets for your kitchen!

Cooking Torch w/Fuel Gauge @ $29.99

Don't Use On The Kids! This is truly my favorite Useless Gadget! (Someone please explain to me what the hell I would use this for in the Kitchen!)
Now I know how to grill my chicken wings while watching Television in the den!

Rechargeable Palm Grip Kitchen Scrubber @ $33.59

Rechargeable Battery leaves no need to replace batteries Mountable charging base for easy storage Powerful motor does the scrubbing for you Interchangeable cleaning heads for a variety of tasks Ergonomic grip is more comfortable to use

Just what I always wanted to do! Pay $34 dollars so my oven top can get a massage. Kitchen goes to the spa - Chef goes to bed with a swollen wrist!

Milk Carton Holder @ $10.00 (or $15.00 if you are a real sucker!)

I guarantee you - you will use this once, put it away and a year from now try to figure out just what insanity possessed you to purchase it in the first place!

Pineapple slicer @ $9.99 - $39.99

Sometimes it is not only the useless gadget but the advertisement that goes along with it. Take a look at this picture.

So I ask you - say you are absolutely convinced you need a "pineapple slicer" (Del Monte don't cry just yet!) So you are going to go out and purchase this one where you need to put your hand around a prickly pineapple, apply pressure on the skin so you can use this slicer? O.k... what planet are you from?

So go out and get one for $40.00, like the one below.

This ought to make your day, and for $40 you had better be eating pineapples for at least 165 days out of every year!

Mango splitter @ $11.99

Right up there with our Pineapple slicer is the Mango Splitter. Now, since I do eat mango's quite often, and I know they are sticky, maybe i should spend $12.00 to split my Mango's?

Tea Bag Holder @ $9.99

I broke out in laughter when I saw this one. If you even think of purchasing this, you get the sucker of the year award. (Try a spoon. You already have one in your kitchen, and I promise you it works just as well or even better!)

Jar Lifter @ $4.99

While purchasing your tea bag holder, don't forget the Jar Lifter. This is truly something no chef should be without. And I bet you - once you have it, you will never understand how you lived without it!

Salad and Herb Spinner @ $39.95

Shades of Flying Saucers! I wonder if when you spin this little contraption it also takes off! $39.95 is a lot to pay for a Dreidel which does not even have a side to land on.

These also spin, if you are into spinning and cost around $1-$2 a piece.

Cheese Dome @ 14.99

When purchasing this one, make sure you purchase at least 3. And then run, don't walk, to your nearest cheese gourmet store, so you can purchase gigantic blocks of real (in?)-expensive cheese that can sit in your Cheese Domes. That should not be too expensive, cause as we all know blocks of cheese are real cheap! And what is even better cheese never ever spoils!

Banana Hanger @ 12.95

Hits head! Finally! So that is what you do with bananas after you buy them. You hang them in the kitchen!

Electric Salt Grinder (include batteries) @ 43.95
Electric Pepper Grinder (include batteries) @ 43.95

For the person who simply has everything. Now, you can put not one, but two vibrating utensils on your dinner table for a bit less than $100! Think of the music. And my gosh! Golly Gee! Batteries are included! A steal!

Egg Separators From @39.99 - All the way up the Scale

Let us do the math. We are making a cake. We get all the ingredients. We take out 4 eggs - total cost approximately 0.50 cents. And then we whip out our $40 egg white separator - put it on the counter, break the egg, pick it up in our slippery hands, watch the white drip out, and then *splat* we drop this really needed gadget on the floor! Even if we don't drop it, just figure you added at least $40 to the price of baking that cake. (Stick with the $3.00 egg separator - works wonders!)

The Ultimate Beverage Dispenser @ $204.99

This thing better be "ultimate" at over $200. But let me make this clear folks. This does not squeeze a damn thing. No way. No how. This is simply an ice bucket inside a container where you pour the orange juice (or whatever you wish) which you just squeezed, and ice goes in the center. For that pleasure - you get to pay out $204.99 - on sale no less! So run and buy this one. And while you are at it, I really have this great bridge to sell you. In New York City no less. And cheap. Real, real cheap.

Here is a sign for all you chefs. This is NOT useless.

16 Fire Comments - Click To Post A Comment:

Camera Obscura said...

The prices you list for all of these are awful, but some are quite useful.

I use Tetley's round tea bags, and there's no tag or string. How ya gonna squeeze 'em? Seriously, yeah, $10 is ridiculous. I only paid $1 apiece, and that was at a coffee / tea speciality shop. But I've bought one for everybody in my family who drinks tea, and they all adore them.

Oh, and everybody I know has a banana hook. I'm guessing nearly half the homes in America do. Bananas are the most-purchased grocery item in the U.S. You can look it up.

You obviously do not can. The Jar Lifter is for taking canning jars out of a boiling water bath. Oh, and you posted the picture upside-down. The red grippy end is for the boiling-hot, wet, slippery jars.

The cooking torch is for carmelizing creme brulee' or setting alight things like cherries jubilee or bananas foster or spaganaki. Yeah, you can do the latter with an electric match. But stick that creme brulee' back in the oven to put the crunch on the top, and you risk ruining it.

And the milk carton handle is for people with arthritis.

Your Corona Story said...

I have to admit Camera Obscura has some decent points in the above comment. BUT...sorry.... no way ... the prices are from current web sites.. well known web sites I might add... so I ain't backing down.

As for a banana hook - sorry - just ain't buying into such a thing. There is a limit to my willingness to be taken for a ride.

A Tea bag squeezer - Give me a break! We drink tea here all the time, I have like 30 different flavors - in Tea Bags - and a spoon works wonders.

And yes I do from time to time "can" or "jar". But well on that one we will leave it be.

Cooking Torch? That I will NEVER buy into. That may be good for a professional restaurant... which I will agree (perhaps). There is just a limit..i mean this with all due respect.. a limit to the things I can be sold as "useful". (By the way, a cooking torch also poses serious problems with the carmelizing process as the heat must be uniform.)

The milk can holder? yes my Mom had arthritis... and found it as difficult to hold the holder (they were around in plastic years ago, where you must wrap your fingers around the handle as well.) So while I agree, if it helps an arthritis sufferer than yes - buy it...BUT..the people who I knew with arthritis could not hold that handle in a million years.

But as they say "whatever floats your boat!".

I see your points, and I bow to some of them - but it is our endless need for gadgets that are basically useless that drives us crazy in the kitchen. Though I have no doubt that professional chefs and cooks will find endless use for most of these (even the electric pepper grinder - batteries included!)

Besides - I really do have this great bridge ... :)


Paula and Elwood's Poetic Palace said...

Love it!!

I can things and use a regular pair of tongs.. they work well.

There is only one item that is useful, that would be the sign

If you don't like my cooking..

Mike said...

Teddy, I'm on your side about the banana hook. I have a perfectly good fruit bowl. Much more versatile then a hook. It holds bananas AND apples AND oranges. Try putting oranges on your $15 hook. Also, If I don't feel like putting fruit in it I can put other awesome things, like nuts.

I'm on a mission to live my life with as little clutter and junk as possible. If you think you need a special device to get your tea bags out because you can't figure out how to use a spoon, you deserve to wallow in a kitchen so filled with junk that you can never find the particular specialized gadget when you need it.

Anonymous said...

if you've ever seen a 4-5 year old child drop a half-gallon carton of milk (or orange juice) on the floor because their small hands can't hold the carton, that milk carton handle would be a very worthwile purchase.

camera, aren't the red handles heat resistant, and the balls on the bottom of that gizmo what grips the jar? (and what's wrong with a basket for bananas? [nasty slimy smelly])

the most useless kitchen gadget i've ever seen is one my late father apparently found in some catalog and purchased, and to this day, i have no clue what it was for. i ended up trashing it or i'd try to get a pic. but it was a aluminium ring (8-9" diameter) with 8 oval openings in a circular pattern, and in each of those openings was a removable oval tube (4-5" long) that looked like a popsicle mold. only thing was, there was a hole in the bottom of each tube, so you couldn't put anything liquid in them. when i couldn't figure it out, i tried to sell it in a garage sale, but even then, nobody seemed to know what the heck it was.

Anonymous said...

i completely disagree about the mango splitter. if you eat mangos it saves alot of time and mess

Norma said...

Paula, I don't know how you take quart jars out of boiling water with regular tongs. I couldn't tell you how many hundreds of times I have used a jar lifter - it has saved a lot of burned fingers. As for the banana hook, it is not a necessity but it does help the bananas last longer than sitting in a bowl.

Paula and Elwood's Poetic Palace said...

Norma, I learned from an old aunt who is the frugalist of all frugals.

If I cut up peppers and such for relish, she is right beside me making sure not one inch of that pepper is wasted. If I were to purchase these gadgets for cooking she would disown me.

Sure, my methods are old school and probably longer in process but there is something about the older generation's ways that just feel right.

The tongs I use are long handled and grip the jars just fine.

Deborah Dowd said...

These gadgets are hilarious! I hadn't thought of Kali's point about kids and a milk carton, but what a price we pay for convenience. And by the wat, I live in the US and I do not have a banana hook!

Izzy Bee said...

Salad spinners are worthwhile if you like crisp leaves. Israeli salads can be way too soggy...OK,if you only eat chopped salad, I can see that this gadget would be useless...but it's quick and efficient and lets you store clean but unused lettuce properly (without freezing or going limp). It'll save you from having to mop the floor and walls if you try a centrifugal force - style salad preparation with a dishtowel and pitching wind-up. Californians have been buying these gadgets for daily use for more than 30 years. Mine is 16 years old and still works great. Don't mock it til you try it...and you can get a salad spinner in plastic for much, much cheaper.
Definitely not a dreidel

Unknown said...

I have a pineapple corer and use it weekly. Everyone who has seen it wants one also. Course I live in Costa Rica and fresh pineapples are about $1 each.

Anonymous said...

A jar lifter is extremely useful when you are canning food. It allows you to safely lift hot jars from the canner without burning yourself or dropping the jar due to slippage. I use mine for about 200 jars each year for the past 20 or so years.

Anonymous said...

Those are great picks for useless kitchen gadgets! I just got to get me one of those jar lifters. :-) I guess they're good at one thing...cluttering up your drawers and counter space.

Cheap kitchen gadgets said...

Nice Post! I am looking for Wholesale kitchen gadgets can you please provide some relevant info regarding it.

KennQ said...

great post, I really like it. Thanks for posting. :)

Charenn29 said...

i like the pineapple slicer as well as i love pineapples. :)