I’m a serious home cook. By that I mean that I love spending time in the kitchen trying out new recipes, and, of course, eating the fruits (or veggies) of my labor. So when I come across a fantastic kitchen appliance or utensil that is bound to make my life easier or more enjoyable while in the kitchen, you can hardly keep me from swiping my credit card at Sur La Table.
Over the years, however, countless products have been launched that have been touted as being convenient kitchen items, but that end up being just a waste of space in the drawer or on the counter. Who needs that?
While I may have been duped into buying one of these items (ok, the strawberry huller–I’ll admit defeat…), I can assure you that all the utensils on this list are useless. They are nothing but some plastic and metal and a good marketing campaign.
Have you used any? Let us know!
I thought this tool would help me avoid wasting the tops of the strawberry near the stem. With two little kids, I cut up a lot of fruit and didn’t want to lose any in the process. I was excited to try my huller when it first arrived. While it does just extract the green stem and the harder core, I found that it is a pain to clean. A quick rinse won’t do, since strawberry guts get stuck all over it. Plus, I still need a knife to cut the rest of the stawberry for my little boys. So what was once one quick step of slicing with a knife, turned into multi-steps and multiple utensils. Who has time for that? Not me…
A selling point, according to Amazon, is that this also slices mushrooms and other soft fruit and vegetables. The only issue here is that I wasn’t aware that it was so difficult to slice an egg. Is that a thing? And if it is, how many people need to slice eggs in this way all the time? When I hard-boil an egg, I either mush it up in a bowl for egg salad, or I quickly cut it into quarters with a knife. (Or just take a bite out of it, right?) I’m not making elaborate cobb salads for guests that would necessitate a whole utensil that I will then need to clean.
Waffle Bowl Maker
I can guarantee that this thing is fun exactly once, and then it just takes up space. “Hey kids! We can have ice cream in a waffle bowl just like they have at the ice cream parlor!” And then you realize how much of a pain it is to do every time someone wants a bowl of ice cream, and you quietly make it disappear to the basement so that no one is reminded of its existence.
Electric S’Mores Maker
Let’s get this straight: the special part of this appliance is the part that is toasting the marshmallow. So it’s replacing the fire part of the s’more-making process. The rest is just a fancy shelf for the ingredients, which can easily be pulled out of their respective bags and boxes as needed. If you grew up in a city, like I did, you are aware of the urban s’more method of microwaving the marshmallow on the graham cracker and chocolate until it puffs up, and then squishing it down with the top cracker. If you grew up in the country, you might have actually used fire. But I can assure you that no one needs this thing.
Let’s start with the fact that most people I know are afraid of opening a bottle of champagne the good ol’ fashioned way. So the thought of introducing a sharp sword to the equation would be a disaster. Second, this method of champagne opening (called “sabrage”) became popular in Napoleon’s time when the weapon of choice was the sword. Please provide an example of a situation in which opening a glass bottle with a deadly weapon (and perhaps turning the cork into a deadly weapon of its own) would be appropriate. Because I think putting the towel over the cork and aiming away from people’s eyes is a pretty decent way to get things done.
Come on, part of the experience of eating corn on the cob in the summer is getting all of those kernels and all that butter all over your face. Feeling the crunch and pop of the corn in your teeth as you chomp down makes eating feel like an activity. It’s fun, and I don’t want someone to rob me of that with a silly device that probably doesn’t work well anyway.
Please see the egg slicer above. No one needs this. If you’re not biting, you’re expertly slicing with a knife against your thumb. Moving on.
A quesadilla is cheese sandwiched between two tortillas, and then cooked. It’s grilled cheese with a Mexican name. Cooking this can—and should—be done in a little pan. It takes about 4 minutes. The idea of pulling out a big appliance that will take up counter or closet space to make a quesadilla is completely absurd. Save your money. Save your storage space. Make your own stupid quesadilla.
Twirling Spaghetti Fork
As a proud spaghetti-loving Italian, my ancestors would spin (no pun intended) in their graves if I had one of these. I would also imagine that it takes some practice to make sure that not too much spaghetti is loaded onto the fork at first, so that you don’t end up twirling the entire plateful of pasta. By the time you get the right amount twirled, you could probably be halfway done with your meal.