Quick Links: Useless Gadgets for Junk Food

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I laughed when this email appeared in my inbox recently: "Just What We Needed Dept.: Seven Things You Don't Want for Christmas."

A One-Click Butter Cutter, Pie Gate, and Pizza Scissors? Wow! Do you think it's a coincidence that most of these gadgets are for junk food? And really, even this die-hard newshound and former reporter doesn't need a New York Times toaster!

Coach Nicole and I were discussing these silly gizmos the other day. She has a blanket "no single-use gadgets" rule in her kitchen. I allow a few exceptions: apple peeler/corer, popcorn popper, coffee grinder (though I have another one for spices and flaxseed), etc.

Could we have discovered a new healthy eating rule? If a food requires a special gadget or tool to eat or make, like a doughnut assembly line or a pie gate, it probably isn't a food whose preparation needs to be streamlined. Doughnuts are a pain to make; therefore it's instant control if you want homemade ones.

Every holiday season, it seems there's a new junk food kitchen gadget on the market. Funnel cake makers, cotton candy kits, and margarita machines are among the appliances that will surely end up gathering dust and taking up valuable counter space by the end of January.

Do you have any useless kitchen gadgets that you regret buying? What's the strangest kitchen gadget you've seen?

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Love my crock pot. Saved me from eating out when my son's football season is in full swing. (practice 3x per week then games on the weekends) Totally saved me and my family from fast food. Even used it twice this week! Great for soups, beans, and all in one pot meals. Love it!! Set it and forget it. The only other one use gadget would be my coffee maker. Report
Got this thing called a Big Boss Grill that looked like George's grill. This thing has extra plates like a grill for pancakes, donut plates, waffle plates, omelet plates, etc. I use the grill for the chicken or hamburgers. It doesn't get hot enough. SO IRRITATING!! Finally got disgusted and took the plate and put it on the stove burner to cook it. My guest waited long enough!!
Called customer service 2-3 times, which was a voice mail, and never got a returned call. Shisters!!
Love this topic. It's the only conversation (sort of) I have been a part of on this subject where people weren't laughing at how many gadgets I have. I find them fun to use, to learn how to use, figure out how to expand their use, and how to organize them in this small studio apartment I currently live in. Used to have a 5 bedroom house in Iowa. I juice wheatgrass in a juicer that is made just for that. This is my power drink to begin the day and it's worthy ever "dollar" I spent on it. Report
Worst gadget was a smoothie maker - absolute nightmare to clean, it was replaced by my best ever gadget, a Bamix which does the same job and takes seconds to clean, worth every penny. Report
That S'More Maker thing they are advertising on TV seems pretty ridiculous to me. Report
EWWWW what a great subject. I have a lot; toaster / convection oven use frequently. Crock pot don't use as much but a valuable piece of equipment especially when i know I'm not going to have time to make dinner also makes perfect beans. Food processor love to cut up veggies very fine, pesto, bread crumbs, shreds cheese, and slicing things very thin.

Also love fruit and vegetable gadgets like; the apple peeler / corer, cherry pitter, strawberry hauler and a slicer, pineapple corer thing, avocado slicer. I guess those are all fruit gadgets, and things you could do with a knife. But the time they save is seriously worth the drawer space.

Two gadgets i hate, that my mom and brother insisted on getting; an electric turkey fryer, and the margarita ville. Both are the same size, HUGE, so huge in fact they both have taken up residency on the counter. Ugh and both get used about once a month if that.

Another ting I just thought of, that no one else has mentioned, single use gadget; electric can opener. Very usefull Report
I have a ton of single use items, but I use most of them. I think the one I use least is the quesadilla maker. I've used it a few times. The best kitchen item I have is a blender/food processor. Its two gadgets in one and saves room. Report
My source of many kitchen gadgets are thrift stores. I especially love vintage ones that still work. I get to play around with the stuff and give it away again when I'm done. Glad not to have spent to much.

That said, I do resist some of them. I'd never buy one of those "slider makers" that are shown on TV. My favorite gadget is an old fashion (vintage late 60's or early 70's) Sunbeam hard boiled egg cooker. Works fantastic! Looks like a little stainless steel and bakelite flying saucer! Found on Ebay! Report
The most useless thing I've heard of is probably the hot dog bun warmer. I'll just stick mine in the microwave, thanks. Report
I have to day the most useless gadget for me was a garlic press, it took 3x as long for me to mince and press my garlic than it did with just a chef's knife and the cleanup involved using a toothpick to get the garlic out of the little holes. It was more wasteful and irritating than just using a knife.
- lol ok done venting now Report
I don't have any such gadgets but actually would love to have a peanut butter stirrer, which does exist. I just haven't bought it yet. Someday I will. Report
Bread Maker, and Juicer. The bread maker was a gift to me years ago from my daughter. Have only used it once. The juicer, I stopped using years ago. Too much trouble and too messy! FAVORITE kitchen gaget?! My Blender for making smoothies. Report
I love my kitchen gadgets! They are used most days and for different reasons! Report
I don't consider my pizza cutter a single use gadget. I use it to slice all kids of foods. However, I love my big stand mixer that for my sister is a gadget, and I have managed to live without the food processor she uses daily.
The strangest gadget I would vote is the hot dog/bun heater. Report
Snow cone maker! I just need those little paper cones, lol Report
The one and only gadget I bought that I searched everywhere for, was the EGGSTRACTOR. My specialty is deviled eggs. Everyone that has ever eaten one of mine, eats at least a half dozen! The worst part is shelling the eggs, so I finally tracked one downa nd bought it.. .. It went in a garage sale..
I found a recipe for cooking them with a Tbsp of baking soda to raise the Ph, they shell instantly!!
My most used appliance is my crockpot! Costs $.03/hr to operate, easy to clean, safe, set it and forget it!!
My small one was a wedding gift 30 years ago, the large one was given to me by a friend. They are valued right up there with my washer, dryer, micor, dishwasher and car!!! Report
Ok, not a gadget but...... in cleaning out my mother's kitchen I have found four complete sets of dishes (three of which have never been used). Report
Hmmm, gadgets...I'm married to a professional chef, so we have a bunch of cool stuff, but there's a lot more I want and don't have! We sat at the coffee shop the other day talking about gadgets we want. My favorites are the bamboo steamer (you can put it on top of a pot of soup or whatever's boiling) and the rice cooker, which doesn't cook too much rice and has a compartment in the top for steaming. Hubby and I fill it with veggies and/or fish and get a complete meal that way. I also love my crock pot. No civilized household should be without a waffle iron, so we have one of those. I have a coffee grinder and French press (it just makes two small cups of really good coffee at a time--I use it to fill an insulated carafe for company). We really have too many pots and pans and tons of dishes, including a very pretty plate for deviled eggs which I never use and a bunch of Christmas dishes that I don't use because I like the all-purpose china better. Maybe I should sell those off and buy what I really want... Report
I have the apple corer/slicer, but like you I love it and use it for pears as well, so it is a good one. I have a pizza cutter , but only because it came with a set of kitchen tools. I did buy a GF Grill Report
I think there are a lot of single use gadgets that are essential! What about a garlic press? I use that all the time, but only for garlic.
That being said, I don't really need most gadgets, but if I had a huge kitchen I'd get them anyway! Cooking should be fun, and if a pastry cutter makes it more fun, then go for it. Report
Great tip. I heard no single use appliances from Alton Brown a long time ago and made a clean sweep in the kitchen. Not only does it keep you from eating garbage but it gives you more space in your cabinets and on the countertops and makes you feel more organized. Report
Mine is the deep fryer my husband wanted....we used it once to make our own fresh fish sticks....we used peanut oil and pretended that it was healthier :)
Need to donate that one to the Scout auction this year. Report
Useless items/gadgets: small electric chopper/slicer; the George Foreman grill - (I didn't purchase myself - but it's sitting in a cabinet) - I think it's time to get rid of them both. Report
Even though I use it once in a great while, I regret buying the cheese grater from pampered chef. My husband really wanted it so he could put fresh cheese on his popcorn, but the thing is horrible to clean. Cheese gets stuck in the grooves and you need to use a long thin knife to get it out. I use it to grate baby carrots occasionally, but it's still horrible to clean. Whenever we need to grate cheese, we use the plain old-fashioned one.

Another gadget my husband really wanted was the grilled cheese maker. It was only about $10 so I didn't really say anything. He makes such a mess with it. We buy organic bread and it's much thicker and heavier than the fluffy white stuff they expect you to use to make the sandwich. Then there's the cheese. We buy cheese in block form and cut slices for sandwiches. So the machine will barely close unless you really smoosh it down, and then all the cheese spills out the back and all over the counter. After scrapping melted cheese off the counter and trying to dig it out of the wire wrapped around the cord connecting the top and the bottom, I hid the thing way back in the cabinet. And instead of getting rid of it, we moved it with us a couple of times. lol Report
Just recently purchased a chocolate fountain. I wanted it for a party. But now I wonder where I will store the thing?!
The most useless gadget I own is my ice shaver. Works great, just a pain to use and clean.... Report
i have a potato peeler, that metal one with a handle. dont know if you would call it a gaget. a potato masher, for mash taters, a blender, and a microwave. i live in a rv so dont have very much room for all that garbage that i probably wont use anyways. Report
We have: an apple corer, blender, food processor, pizza cutter, mortar/pestel, mandolin, air popper, coffee maker, salad spinner, kettle... Those last four we use on a daily basis for popcorn, coffee, salad, and tea. All of those are things my husband loves to eat. He's branching out little by little to new veggies, and I've discovered he'll eat apples! Report
Where did you get a mango corer/pealer?? I love Mango's but hate having to peal them.... Report
The only single use gadget I own and ♥ is my mango corer/slicer by OXO. It was recommended by America's Test Kitchen and it really is worthy of the space it takes up in my drawer (which really isn't much). Makes dealing with fresh mangoes a breeze, and YUM, fresh mango! Report
I can't pick out just one I have had so many years ago. Every year I used to get an appliance you know use them once and then they go to appliance **** to take up room and collect dust. I tell people I don't want any at all. Report
Now that it comes to it I can't think of one single gadget in my kitchen. We don't even have a toaster (bread gets crunchier in a fan forced oven for 5min). What I would love is one of those garlic crushers. And one that is definately stupid is that box you can put a piece of cheese in and then push the button on the top 1000 times to make it grate for you. I have seen people get up a sweat using one of those things. Jeeze. Report
I love my toaster over - use it all the time for everything. I also love my Magic bullet, my steamer, and my electric frying pan. I got rid of the breadmaker, the deep fryer, and I'm getting rid of the fondue pot - what a waste! Wish I had a food processor, but no room. Report
I love gadgets especially looking at them in catalogs and wishing. Fortunately, we don't have any space for new gadgets so I usually don't buy or ask for them.

This being said, I did ask for last year (and want for a number of years) a Fondue set. I received one from my sister-in-law (husband wouldn't buy it for me) and have not used it yet!!! (Husband is really smart and knows me well!).

I have been "coveting" a magic bullet set though - Have not mentioned it to anyone else though. (except everyone here now). Report
I am not generally a gadget person because I move a lot and don't like to have a lot of stuff sitting around on the counter to clean around, however, I really really like my salad spinner, it gets tons of use even though it is a pain to clean and I also like the rice cooker. For some reason the rice turns out better and quicker. I don't use either of these things for evil. Report
I no longer have any useless gadgets, and I love gadgets. When I split up with ex-hubby 3 years ago I left all the gadgets I didn't use often with him. I haven't re-purchased one of them. I don't recommend this method of ridding yourself of clutter, though. There are easier ways. Report
Yup. Hubby just had to have a chocolate fountain. Bugged me for several years about it. Now we have one. Haven't even used it yet. (He plans on setting it up for Christmas to impress the grandchildren.) Here's my thinking: Where the heck am I going to store that sucker between uses - which will probably be no more than twice a year.

Oh, well, at least it involves chocolate! (Please don't hit me!) Report
I can't think of gadgetst that I regret....I love my gadgets and use most of them for awhile depending on the season. Probably the one I use least is the ice cream maker, just because we don't eat as much ice cream as I thought and I have healthier recipes. Report
I love the vegetable cutter that my sister got me! Since I have started using it, I find I put more fresh vegetables in my stews and pasta sauce. I no longer have to cry to get my diced onions!! Report
a juicer. bought it last Christmas and it's still in the box unopened. i'll stick with my fresh fruits and veggies. quicker and easier Report
A Pizzaz Pizza oven. Report
Sandwich maker and blender. Pizza cutter to weak to cut, Ice cream scoops that don't scoop.
The silliest kitchen gadgets I can think of are the sandwich maker, the salad shooter, the quesadilla maker, and of course the egg-stracter.

** The best multi-purpose kitchen gadget that really works wonderfully: The Magic Bullet. I got one for Christmas a few years ago and use it daily for making protein shakes, smoothies, dicing veggies, grinding coffee beans, etc. Report
I think there are some of these infomercial "gadgets" that are for healthy food too... Slicers and choppers top the list. Speaking of those things, there are those green baggies that are supposed to keep fruits and veggies fresher longer.

Since I started using SparkPeople, however, I noticed that my fruits and veggies don't go bad since I'm eating them every day! If they do, then I know that I've been buying too much at one time! :D Report
I have a few infrequently used gadgets. I have a toaster/convection oven. I never got the hang of the convection oven way of cooking so I usually overcook or burn food when I use that feature. Occasionally I'll use it for toasting thick bread or for baking too small an amount of something to heat up my big oven.

I have a Vitamix mixer that I go for months without using. In the winter I'm rarely in the mood for smoothies. Even worse it is too tall to fit under my cabinets so it uses up more valuable counter space.

My most often used gadget is (don't laugh) my Richard Simmons vegetable steamer. It has 3 compartments with seperate programable timers that cook your food such that they are all ready at the same time even if they take different times to cook. Report
Any silly cutting tool when a knife will do just fine. Report
truly after being raised in the resturant business the only worthless thing i own is mypizza cutters that don't cut. Report
I think the most useless applicance I have purchased is a sandwich maker. By the time you get it out, you could have toasted the bread yourself and made a healthier version without oil or butter. Report
I have an apple corer, a salad spinner which get used constantley. 2 blenders, & a smoothie machine that I have decided were a complete waste as I haven't used them in almost 3 years. I have an icecream sandwich maker from Pampered Chef that never gets used, a corn butterer, and Lord knows what else is hidden in the closet. The gadget that I have just recently started using and love is my crockpot. Report
I dont have many gagets, Im a more hands on kinda person. I do, however own a few vintage/antique kitchen gadgets. I used to have a odd obsession with them, and my mom bought me a few over the years. The funny part of that, I have tried to used them, as all the ones she got me were in perfect condition, but they are so much more complicated than actually doing the work by hand!! I have a veggie chopper from the 50's I think, and by the time I get it out and put it together, I could have the veggie chopped by hand!The 2 gagets I do use are my George Foreman grill and food processor, quite often. Report
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